Amidst all the preparations being taken to celebrate the upcoming season, a minister shared about what people really need this Christmas.
In his article on The Christian Post, Stephen Mitchell, senior pastor of Trinity Bible Church (TBC) in Maryland, declared that the essence of Christmas is for people to realize their need for the Lord Jesus Christ.
"We want that spirit of Christmas to distract us from reality, but we continue to fail to realize that what we really need is the Christ who is the wonder of Christmas, Christ who brings the warmth of love that is far better than any Hallmark Christmas movie," he said.
"It's Christ who fills your heart with joy unspeakable that permeates your soul to such an extent that you could face tragedy, discouragement, difficulty, and darkness all the while having an inner strength that sustains you and overflows your heart with peace when you have no natural reason to do so," Mitchell added.
The pastor stated that his family, as well as many of his friends, have decided to put up holiday decorations early, wanting to create something "merry" out of the darkness that the pandemic has brought and the tragedies that the country experiences.
Recalling the recent attack at a parade in Wisconsin, what saddened Mitchell even more is the reason why people were there - to simply come together for "some Christmas spirit" after having through the difficulty of coronavirus pandemic.
On Nov. 1, Darrell Brooks Jr. drove through a Christmas parade in Waukesha, killing six people and injuring 60 others. The scene was so grim that Steve Howard, the city's fire department chief, compared it to a war zone.
The next day, the community gathered again at a nearby park, but this time to mourn for those who were killed.
Brooks was charged with six counts of homicide, wherein each charge carries a mandatory life sentence. He could also be charged with attempted homicide or reckless endangerment and reckless injury for his other victims.
The pastor said that the incident only intensified the division and polarization in the country, economic hardship, mental health crisis and the lack of love for others and civility.
But as the shepherds declared when Jesus was born into the same "cold, cruel and broken world", people today can still have hope amidst the gloom because of the birth of Savior of the world, as stated in Luke 2:10-11.
"The question each of us must ask ourselves is if we are willing to make room in our hearts for the Child born in Bethlehem because whether you realize He is the one you really want, He is the one we need," the minister concluded.
Prior to his current role at TBC, Mitchell served as the church's youth and associate pastor for more than seven years. He earned his degree in Pastoral ministry from Valley Forge Christian College. As a pastor, he believes that he is called to show the love of God and proclaim the truth of His Word "to His church and to the world."