Greetings beloved citizens of Bradenton and Manatee County.
It is with love in my heart and great excitement that I write you this brief epistle of joy and celebration.
After being a Christian for over 25 years, I am still moved with awe and wonder of Christmas.
The true story of the birth of Christ continues to tower above the greatest adventure tale ever told.
From the vast amount of prophecies foretelling His arrival to the integrity and valor of Mary’s husband, Joseph; the young couple’s grueling journey to Bethlehem to the heavenly invasion announcing the birth of the Christ Child to the shepherds on a hill; the magnificent entrance of the magi and the colossal faith and trust of a young virgin girl embracing her miraculous assignment that was conceived of the Holy Spirit.
Whether there is an abundance of gifts under your tree this year or a few humble presents for those you love, it is my prayer and desire for you this season that your hearts would be full, bursting with the wow and the wonder of Christmas.
I often hear people say this time of year that we must keep the Christ in Christmas, and I am in full agreement of this statement.
But true Christianity must transcend words and move into action, permeating every segment and fiber of our lives.
To truly keep Christ in Christmas, He must be on the throne of our hearts, our minds reigning over our thoughts, emotions and our behavior.
For churchgoers who only say “Christmas” and walk not in love, forgiveness, kindness, generosity towards mankind, eliminate the Christ in Christmas by default.
I want to encourage all those who champion the title Christian to become a living Christmas card in all they do.
The apostle Paul puts it this way: “You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men; clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart” 2 Corinthians 3:2-3.
And for those all who are reading this, this Christmas Eve I would like to offer you the greatest gift I could ever share, I offer you Jesus.
Regardless of who you are or what you’ve done, God really does love you. He sent His Son who paid the ultimate price for you. He died for your sins, but death could not hold Him.
Through the resurrection of Jesus Christ you too can have a new and eternal life. Ask Him into your heart. Ask Him to heal you, teach you His ways, and use you to help others.
Welcome to the Kingdom!
Please contact me at 941-776-0026 if you made that commitment.
On behalf of my family, our presbytery, leaders and the entire Kingdom Life Family, Merry Christmas and an exceedingly blessed new year!
For Jesus our King and for His Kingdom, Pastor Don Sturiano
Don Sturiano, is pastor of Kingdom Life Christian Church, which meets every Sunday at 10:30 a.m. at 825 Ninth St. W. across the street from Turner Donuts in downtown Bradenton. Call 941-776-0026 or visit www.kingdomlifechristianchurch.org for more information.