Rev. Norman Sulaica, Jr. grew up in San Antonio, Texas. He attended Texas Lutheran University in Seguin, TX and Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, OH.
Pastor Norm, his wife, Laura, and their four children joined the Our Savior Family in 2003.

Grace and peace be unto you from our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus the Christ. Amen 

“In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” --- 1 John 4:10. 

Caeser Augustus, census, magi, star, shepherds, sheep, angels, songs, no vacancy inns, cave, Joseph, Mary, manger, swaddling clothes, baby. Yes, there are many images brought to us in God’s Christmas Story, Christ-mas Story. The gospels of Matthew and Luke provide a historical account founded in personal eyewitness testimonies. 
· The magi speaking about their travels lead by a star to cave use as a stable. They discovered in this cave the Savior of humanity. These ancient reports listened and recorded the magi’s personal account about the infant Savior. 
· Shepherds express about their night shift job. They experienced God’s angels directing them to the small town called Bethlehem. Here, they find the baby Jesus, and their salvation from sin, evil, and the devil. 
· Angels were given God’s marching orders to get Mary, Joseph, and the Shepherds of God’s page of Salvation. 
· Both, Mary and Joseph, voices their God-centered experiences. Joseph through God chose to be Mary’s husband, and not abandon her or the baby. Mary welcomed the call to be the Savior’s mother. Again, people heard their stories, and put them to parchment. 

The Christmas Story gifts us with a view of God’s actions as the baby Jesus. As the baby Jesus, God comes with a purpose. 1 John 4 reveals God’s purpose, “sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins”. “Propitiation” means to atone. So, this verse could read, “sent his Son to be the atone for our sins”. Atone means to make amends, to pay for reparations/damages. Atonement is making right that which is wrong. Atone is easily broken down to the idea at-one. Atone is to make right broken relationship by making at-one relationships. 

The Christmas Story is the beginning step for which God makes right that which is wrong in our lives. The baby Jesus enters our world to live with us. This first step taken by God leads us to the road which takes us to Calvary and the tomb. 

Saying “Merry Christmas” today serves to remind us and others that God’s gift of saving grace begins with an innocent baby in a Bethlehem manger. 

Merry Christmas, 

Pastor Norm and the Sulaica family! 

Pastor Norms' Thoughts
December 2019