December 2023 – Chaplain Newsletter

December 2023 Newsletter ScreenshotThe Birth of Truth and Hope Brings Joy to the World.

Season’s Greetings everyone,

Merry Christmas! Well, let’s pause for a moment and ask ourselves the question, “Is it”? Is it a Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays?

Possibly not for some. I remember when a local Church held a service they called the “Blue Christmas Service”. This created a moment where people and families who had lost a loved one(s) in previous years (possibly near the Holiday season) could come together and ask God for His comfort and healing.

In talking to some of those who attended, I learned that it gave them the ability and strength to then enter into Christmastime and make every effort to focus on, and truly enjoy, the family members that are still here.

So, with that said; if it is merry no matter the circumstances that we may find ourselves in, why is it merry?

Let’s pause there for a minute, and let’s think about the fact that even during Christmas:

  • the times we live in may be troubled, 
  • and our culture seems troubled, 
  • people are lonely, 
  • selfishness is rampant, 
  • divisions are growing. 

Yet, there is an overarching and overwhelming Hope in the midst of every circumstance and in all challenges that we face in this troubled world. 

Friends, the Gospel is truly Good News, anywhere and anytime, for everyone!

Let’s take a look at our Scripture selection for this message, from Luke 2:8-14 NIV.

8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 

9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 

10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 

11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 

12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14  “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

Both then and now, the Good News of the birth of Truth and Hope, Jesus Christ, brings joy to the world, and peace to all those on whom His favor rests.

I will share some of my story where during Christmas Time I was away from home during three deployments.

Each time, I was reminded of the song I’ll be home for Christmas, if only in my dreams; and that Christmas Carol took on a much more tangible meaning for me.

It was hard to be away from home for 9 months to a year, and missing holidays was a stark reminder of this physical separation from loved ones.

So, for me and many of the Unit Ministry Team (UMT) members, and unit leadership who were deployed in the same location, there was something we did that greatly helped.

We partook in some fun military traditions for holidays; specifically, the one where leaders would step in and take over the serving food in the chow halls. This always raised the morale of those being served, and of those serving. 

I also made additional plans and efforts for a Christmas Eve candlelight service. The reverence of this special Chapel service brought Hope and Peace in the midst of war. 

I would also increase my area visitations around the camp during Christmas, with both my 56M (Chaplain Assistant) and I carrying all the goodies from the care packages. Big smiles and moments of Joy for all.

Taking care of my Soldiers, Marines and Airmen (and civilian contractors) on the Task Force also helped me handle being away from home. 

Looking to the needs and interests of others has an amazing way of turning things around and can have a lasting impact on everyone. 

Truly, this is what The Lord Jesus came to do for all mankind. 

To serve, not to be served. 

To do the will of the Father.

To save us.

The first Noel, the first Christmas, began this rescue mission that Jesus was sent to accomplish (and did accomplish on the cross).

Please look with me at the last stanza of The First Noel. 

Then let us all with one accord
Sing praises to our heavenly Lord,
That hath made heaven
And earth of naught
And with His blood
Mankind hath bought.
Noel Noel Noel Noel!
Born is the King of Israel!

That is something you and I can count on from the Christmas Carols that have withstood the test of time, they have deep Truth that pours out from them into our hearts.

As we all sing praises to our heavenly Lord this year, celebrating the birth of Truth and Hope, may we do so with one accord!

Merry Christmas Prayer (adapted from a 2011 Insightful Illustrations Christmas Message written by a dearly departed friend, CH David Causey.)

PRAYER:  Dear Father in heaven, turn our hearts and minds to the Child of Bethlehem, the Prince of Peace, this holiday season. May His kingdom and His peace fill the world and bring healing to Spokane County and to all the nations. In Christ, Amen.

Blessings from Above, Chaplain Robert Kinnune

1 thought on “December 2023 – Chaplain Newsletter”

  1. Thank you for this. An old friend just lost a daughter, and this reminds me how I can help by sharing peaceful words and scripture. Merry Christmas!

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