It is hard to believe how many years now I’ve celebrated Christmas in the beautiful community of New Prague. I’ve been breathing in this community all my life and it is safe to say that this year, I’ll be home for Christmas. From taking my first breath at Queen of Peace, from being schooled here, from marrying my high school sweetheart, from watching my son start kindergarten in the same building my wife and I attended, most definitely, I’ll be home for Christmas. Year after year, I’ve been blessed to watch the dark nights of the season chased away by lights dancing from house to house and tree to tree. Out of all the events of my life lived out in this community, there is one that causes my heart to rejoice and my soul to sing of another home this Christmas. A home that rises above fear, uncertainty, shame, depression, and a place my soul will forever declare, “I am home.” Over 2,000 years ago The Light of the World, Jesus Christ, called the earth He created His home because He knew I couldn’t be good enough, because I personally needed a Savior for my sin. It was here, in this community, darkness broke into light as I came to understand that this Jesus in the manger was not simply a tradition, but He was my Savior, my King, and my only hope. It was at this moment I understood that there was a difference between saying I know of the child in the manger and saying I personally know this child in the manger. This Christmas enjoy the season, enjoy family, enjoy gifts, yet look to The Child in the manger, Immanuel, who called this world His “home” for you. Merry CHRISTmas!
Pastor John Stephens
Community Baptist Church