featured graphic for Pastor Mike McKay and his wife Kristi of Neighborhood Church during COVID-19

Weekly message from Neighborhood Church: The great taste of Christmas

Psalms 34:8 Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!

One of the great joys of the Christmas season is all the wonderful and amazing foods we can enjoy. Their tasty delight can bring both a smile to our face and flood of good memories. The taste of yams backed with that hint of maple syrup and topped with toasted marshmallows brings back memories of my Grandfather and how he would let me sneak a taste. I love toffee, and I have known two amazing women who have made some incredible, terrific toffee. To me, when Lois used to, or now Helen hands me that special box, it feels like Christmas. Not only does it taste oh-so-good, where you tilt your head back and savor the sweetness, but the toffee reminds me of the sweetness of the connection and friendship with these amazing women. What is your favorite tasty Christmas delight? Some like special fudge or other candies. To others, it’s more a savory flavor like that of Chex-mix or garlic mashed potatoes. Wow, I’m getting hungry! There are a lot of tastes this season to enjoy and let their memories bring us joy of Christmas past.

The greatest taste of Christmas is the goodness of God, His loving-kindness. The Hebrew word for loving-kindness (much of the Old Testament of the Bible is written in Hebrew) is HESED. The HESED of God is His loyal, unconditional, never-ending, always-flowing, kind, gracious, merciful, love. God’s HESED has no limits to its endurance, no fading of its hope, and it can and will outlast anything! He offers this amazing love to any and all who would embrace it in faith.

Psalms 36:7 How precious is your steadfast love (HESED), O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of
your wings.

Psalms 40:11 As for you, O LORD, you will not restrain your mercy from me; your steadfast love (HESED) and your faithfulness will ever preserve me!

Psalms 51:1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love (HESED); according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.

Psalms 143:8 Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love (HESED), for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.

The reason Christmas is such a great taste of God’s goodness is because of the wonderful gift He gave to all humanity.

John 3:16-17 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him.

Jesus arrived as the baby we celebrate at Christmas. Jesus came to show us how to relate to God but also to go to the cross to deal with our sin issue (see Isaiah 59:2, 1 John 4:9-10, John 1:12-13). We enjoy this great tasting goodness of God as we embrace Him in faith. It’s the understanding and belief in the HESED of God. Do you? Why not savor the truth of God’s great loving-kindness and let the reality of HESED sink deep in your soul (see Psalm 118:1-4, Psalm 103:17, Psalm 63:1-3). Ah yes, the great taste of Christmas.

Church is, and should be, a great place to soak in the HESED of God, especially during Christmas. If you don’t already have a church you regularly attend, we would like to invite you to view or visit Neighborhood Church. Due to the new COVID-19 restrictions, we have a 9am live-stream gathering from our Cypress campus and another pre-recorded gathering at our Los Alamitos campus. At 10:30am, at the Cypress Campus, we have an in-person, outdoor gathering. Our webpage has information on how to connect with us or find us online at neighborhoodchurch.com. As well, if you would like to view any of our past worship gatherings or videos visit our YouTube channel, or just search Neighborhood Church Cypress or Neighborhood Church Los Alamitos on their YouTube site.

Savoring the HESED of God this Christmas along with you,

Mike