george_hancockstefanIn the well-known Christmas carol, Joy to the World, Isaac Watts writes: No more let sins and sorrow grow, Nor thorns infest the ground; He comes to make his blessings flow, Far as the curse is found.  This past Sunday, our church choir director sang Amy Grant’s song, Grown-Up Christmas List. It concludes with these words: No more lives torn apart, That wars would never start, And time would heal all hearts, And everyone would have a friend, And right will always win, And love will never end, oh, This is my grown-up Christmas list.

In one way, we are less boisterous in singing Joy to the World because of what happened in Newtown, CT, this past Friday morning. The pain and the sorrow are so overwhelming. Yet we must start singing again for if we do not sing, the sorrow and the pain will overcome us.  We must sing because our songs proclaim that in our world of sin and sorrow, God came to pour His blessings through His Son.

We must also sing our songs of peace because some people are benefitting from creating the means of war.  This past week, Russia announced that this has been their best year in supplying the world with weapons.  In fact it is very sad that the four largest suppliers of war equipment are China, Russia, USA and Israel.

As we sing this song we remember that the baby Jesus Christ, born in Bethlehem is the Prince of Peace. That great prophet who has seen the day of the Baby Jesus has also seen the day when the reign of the Messiah will transform the world in a world of peace. The law will go from Zion, the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.  He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.  Nations will not take up sword against nations nor will they train for war anymore.  Come, O house of Jacob, let us walk in the light of the Lord. (Isaiah 2:3b-5)

In the stories that surround the birth of Jesus we see that the ones that came to see Him in the manger were no longer the same.  The Magi did not return to Herod and the shepherds returned to their flocks praising God for what they have heard and seen.


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Churches throughout the world are inviting everyone to come and worship Jesus Christ. Those who worship Jesus Christ, those who recognize that He is God’s Son sent by the Father to show a new way, leave the presence of God by walking in the light that God gives to them as the sons and daughters of God.

Find a church and go worship this Christmas Season and then walk the rest of your life in the light of the Lord Jesus Christ.

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Rev. Dr. George Hancock-Stefan

George Hancock-Stefan

Pastor George Hancock-Stefan completed 30 years as the pastor of the great congregation at Central Baptist Church in Atlantic Highlands in 2020. Those 30 years have been a blessed time for him, his wife...