A Christmas Promise Kept

by Pastor Tim White

 A Christmas Promise Kept - that is the title of the message by Pastor Linda Skinner this weekend as we continue our series  "Christmas Lights the Night."  It is going to be an inspiring service as Linda brings us the Christmas story from the Gospel of Mark.  Yes, the Gospel of Mark has the Christmas story in it also.  Last week Pastor Becca McCary inspired us by kicking off the series "Christmas Lights the Night" by teaching the Christmas story from the Gospel of John. It is in John that we see the dramatic metaphor of Jesus being the "light of the world." 

 This week Pastor Linda will be sharing the incredible drama that comes when adult disciples, followers of Jesus, discover Him for the first time and experience all the magic, joy and salvation that comes with that personal relationship with Jesus.  It truly is Christmas.  To top it off, we have one of our wonderful actresses playing the part of Anna the prophetess doing a dramatic monologue of her first encounter with the baby Jesus.  We will all learn something powerful as we see how long God has been working on the promise of Christmas -- all so we will be able to experience the true miracle of Christmas 2017.  The prophesy shows the down-to-earth power of the Gospel as told in Mark - I am so excited to experience it firsthand.  Of course, the music will be a real lift to your life.  

I am so proud of Pastor Linda and 30 years of ministry at Washington Cathedral and many years of preparation for her Good News ministry to be at its very best.  Would you make it a priority to be there for one of the three services? You honor us with your presence.

Your friend for the rest of your life,
Pastor Tim White

Anticipating Christmas


I love the scene from the classic Christmas movie, “Christmas Vacation”, where Clark Griswold has spent an entire day hanging an obscene amount of lights on his house. He’s gathered the entire family outside in the freezing snow to witness the glorious display of his lights. The Griswold family, like most everyone’s has their fair share of characters and bits of dysfunction, and it’s on full display out on the front yard as Clark excitedly plugs in his cords.

The Griswold’s don’t quite share Clark’s excitement and anticipation about the light display. Some are angry because they have to stand out in the cold...most are indifferent to the whole experience. But Clark...Clark is gleaming with anticipation, wonder and excitement over his light display!

Most people are a little bit familiar with the story of the 3 wise men who visit baby Jesus. The story (Matthew 2:1-12) begins with them seeing the bright star and and asking “Where is the newborn king of the Jews?” Their anticipation and excitement is met with anger from King Herod and indifference from others.

Sound familiar? Not everyone gets excited about light at Christmas...

Sometimes it’s challenging to anticipate and be excited for Christmas. Many times the busyness of the season causes us to miss the light all together. Our post-Christian society generally looks upon the light of Christmas with general indifference as sort of an “it’s just another Christmas season” belief.

Are you seeing the light this Christmas? Are you able to slow down enough to let the anticipation of the story reach deep into your heart and renew your hope and faith in the Messiah?

Upon following the star-light with great anticipation, the wise men came upon Jesus and they worshipped him. What happened next is not to be overlooked.

Join me this Sunday as we explore the story of the wise men, the experience they had in worshipping the “light of the world”, what happened next and how we can experience Christmas in a fresh, transforming way.

See you Sunday and make sure to invite your friends!

Grace and Peace.

Pastor Rex

The Vision of Christmas


In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David.  The virgin’s name was Mary.  The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”  Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be.  But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God.  You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus.  He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.”  Luke 1:26-33

Every year, as I was going to college and then seminary, I loved Christmas break.  When that last final was taken and the sometimes month long break at Christmas began, it was such a refreshing time of year.  Yes, I had to work but I had more free time than at any other time of the year.  Jackie and I were just nuts about being in the “Christmas Spirit.” It was a time for long detailed research, prayer, and Bible study to take place.  It was a time of refreshing the vision that God had given us as teenagers to someday build Washington Cathedral.  And even though that was many years ago, it has always remained that kind of time.  As we started the church and began to raise a family, Christmas quickly moved from the slowest time of year to the busiest time of year.  But despite the busyness, it remained inspiring and refreshing because it was a season of vision. 

What a metaphor for “Light the Night.”  The darkest time of year is the greatest time of vision.  Isn’t that just like God?  And it is true of all life -- the darkest, hardest crucibles of life are always the times when we dream the most beautiful dreams. Dreams that will revolutionize our lives and our world.  The Christmas story is a season of vision.  Mary has a vision, Joseph has a vision, Elizabeth has a vision, Zechariah has a vision, and almost everyone else involved in Christmas has a vision.

Let me ask you a question as I prepare my message for this weekend on “The Vision of Christmas.”  How much would it be worth to you to receive a vision for the rest of your life from God?  I mean his plan, his purpose, his innovations for you and your family.  Join us this weekend I promise you – your vision will be refreshed.

Your friend for the rest of my life,

Pastor Tim White

Light the Night


The Bible, in the book of Isaiah Chapter 9, gives a prophecy of the first Christmas.

“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned. You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you as a people rejoice at the harvest, as men rejoice when dividing the plunder.  Isaiah 9:2-3

I have watched an incredible Christmas celebration every year since I have been a pastor.  People facing death become more fully alive every day of this season as they see a great light.  They are the fortunate ones because they alone really acknowledge the truth that “all of our days are numbered and we are all destined for eternity.”  Their witness increases tenfold and no bad news can eclipse their light because the very presence of the Savior is the source of their light. 

This Sunday is going to be a very special Sunday as we kick off our Christmas campaign to bring joy and light to this world through the wondrous message of Jesus Christ.  I have a very special illustration which expresses our church’s mission to try to build the greatest caring network the world has ever seen.  Our Music Pastor, Rhonda Jones, wrote a beautiful love song for my recent book Ulysses Dream. This Sunday the song will be performed by Keaton Markey and Noe Phillips with the choir backing them up. 

Ulysses Dream captures the story of God’s grace working in the life of a girl living in the city dump of Honduras.  She enters an adventure to become a citizen of the United States and falls in love with a First Nations warrior named Ulysses.  He becomes her champion until she discovers the hero inside of her because of her relationship with Jesus Christ.  The book Ulysses Dream will be available for sale (hopefully to be purchased above peoples tithes and offerings), and all money from the sale of the book will be given to retire the remaining debt that our church needs to resolve before launching our next big dream. The book will also become available in an audio version through Amazon, Apple, and others by December 14th.  The audio version is read by renowned Spanish actress Yareli Arzimendi who has starred in, produced, and directed many movies and television shows.  We will listen to a two-minute clip from this captivating recording.

My text will be Isaiah 9 which will announce a bold new moment in our lives:

For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.  And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end.  He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.  The zeal of the Lord almighty will accomplish this. 

Every day is a new beginning and every morning is the whole world made new.  Just as described in 2 Corinthians 5:17.

This weekend will be a historic service – one that will never be forgotten.  Maybe the most moving worship in the history of Washington Cathedral.  Don’t miss it.

Your friend for the rest of my life,

Pastor Tim White

The Business of Blessing Others


The Reformation is one of the greatest events in history, in which Martin Luther started a movement, one that is still transforming lives today.  This movement began when Luther rediscovered the Gospel, or Good News, of Jesus Christ in the book of Romans and reread the story of Jesus’s life and his Sermon on the Mount.  Today the whole world, Catholic and Protestant, is impacted by that reformation.  One of the biggest impacts was people beginning to read the Sermon on the Mount for themselves, it was revolutionary! It was beyond religious. This month, we began a series on the Sermon on the Mount, called “What Jesus Meant,” and as we focus on this life-changing sermon we can experience for ourselves what countless people before us have been inspired by. When St. Francis of Assisi first read the Sermon on the Mount it changed his life and how he lived out his faith. The present pope, Francis, is a reformer because of conviction in the Sermon on the Mount.  They are life-altering words.


Last week when I kicked off the series, I focused on the fact that God wants to bless us and that he wants us to cooperate with that blessing.  Even more than being blessed, we are to become a blessing ourselves that is why Jesus called us the salt of the world, the light on a hill. We are called and encouraged to spread blessings into our communities and into the darkness.

One of the dreams we have is to spread God’s blessings by working to end elective homelessness in our area. Let’s be thinking and dreaming about it.  I have some ideas and I am sure that you do too.   But the main thing is: let's get about the business of blessing others. And if you are lacking inspiration or feeling discouraged pick up your Bible and read the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5- 7). Soak in the life-changing words and rejoice! Shine with God’s love as you bless others.

May God bless you abundantly.

Your friend for the rest of my life,

Pastor Tim White

Photo Credit


More than a Flash of Light

More than a Flash of Light

So often, we think, “If only I could see Jesus, then all my doubts and fears would be stilled.” It's easy for us to imagine that one simple act on God's part would make all the difference, but scripture shows us that God has done something much better to give us hope for the future.

Shine with Christ’s light


Written by Fiona Monaghan Light…we can’t live without it. The light from the sunshine feeds us with vitamin D and helps us thrive. It creates beauty in the form of plants, trees and flowers. It’s an essential part of our lives.

Darkness is the absence of light and it is used as the simile of those things not good in our world. Crime is committed under the cover of darkness, secrets are kept in the dark.

Light bulb and broken bulbsWhen Jesus makes the statement in John “I am the Light of the world…” could it be he is speaking of that ability to makes sense of things and people and things that happen to us?

He sent his son into a world during a very dark time for Israel. Roman government dictated what was allowed in the region. Freedom of speech was not recognized and children and women had no value and were considered little more than property. The religious leaders of the time didn’t seem to be giving much hope where God was concerned, just more rules to follow.

Then, Jesus comes to this scene, his words and teaching were full of enlightenment and he spoke of a loving Heavenly Father. He stated if they saw Him they had seen what God was like because they were the same.

The people eagerly followed him, caught in the brilliance and truth of his words. They continued his teachings of love and light spreading his message of hope throughout the world. The people that heard their message and saw their actions in turn passed on the message of Good News to more people. Through light and love the world has been changed!

Light exposes darkness whether in our actions or thoughts. Seek to live in the light… grow and shine with Christ’s love!

Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” John 8:12 (NLT)

Photo Credit

Is it Midnight yet?


By Pastor Becca McCary Do you remember glowing with excitement over your first sleepover as a kid? Two weeks ago the excitement among the kids of Washington Cathedral was palpable. As we planned the first winter all-nighter for the elementary kids, we expected about 10-15 people. However, as check-in began on Friday night, it quickly became clear that the excitement had spread to so many friends and family members that we packed the room to the brim! Their light and excitement filled the church café. The kids were glowing.

10454071_10100109740401580_6624683204649164607_oWe loaded up the church bus, packing in kids as tight as we could. There was laughing, yelling, and singing the whole way to Pump It Up in Lynwood for their glow in the dark party. The kids played hard, sweat pouring from their little brows, smiles beaming across their faces.At 8pm, as we loaded the bus to head back to the church, one of the first grade girls, giddy with the new experience of a big kid party, asked with hope and enthusiasm, "is it midnight yet?” She was thrilled to be a part of something so fun and so new.

The rest of the evening carried more new experiences: running games in the church, a magic show from Pastor Rey, and for many of the kids, clad in footy pajamas, their first sleepover.

10921611_10100109740411560_7077901813351485476_oIn less than 24 hours the kids got to hear the good news about Jesus in five different 10 minute lessons. So Sunday morning at the 11am service, as the kids began their new worship program, a different excitement, a different newness, and different glowing took place. The kids sang to God from their hearts, drenched in gratitude for the love of God. Their excitement over their first sleepover became coupled with an excitement for God that would bless their friends and community.

When was the last time you were genuinely excited? Are you doing what these kids did two weeks ago, allowing God's light to touch you so deeply that you can't help but glow too? God's love is always available to us, all we have to do is open ourselves up to it.

No matter what reasons you have to be bored, discouraged, or even burned out, take heart from these words about Jesus in John 1:5, "A Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." God's light is ready to shine in your life and there is nothing that can overcome it. All you have to do is let it in.

As Far As The Eye Can See


As Far As The Eye Can See

Part two of Pastor Rey's reflection on his trip to Africa. There he had a chance to meet amazing people and to be reawakened in his faith. He saw the light that shines in the many people working to help overcome the darkness and suffering in African slums.

The scope. The gravity. The magnitude. The sheer monstrosity of it overwhelms.

I could never have imagined. As far as I could see in either direction, I was surrounded by the ‘Mathera’ slum. It has a million people packed into indescribable living conditions, and it is not even the largest slum in Nairobi! Researchers have estimated about two thirds of the 3 million inhabitants live in slums. The slums are full of darkness according to any measure: poverty, HIV, drugs, orphans, and gangs.

Yet in the midst of the darkness is a light. There is a school led by a saint named Richard, who has started a church in the ‘Mathera’ slum. He noticed that after church, many of the children would have nowhere to go, as they were orphans. So he started a school called Patmos.

Currently, there are 88 children, most of which are orphans from nursery to sixth grade. The entire school structure is made of old tin makeshift walls and is no bigger than a 15ft x 15ft. The classrooms are all combined as they only have 4 teachers who can works months without receiving payment. The first thing Richard told me was "I love God and I love these children. And I know God loves these children too."

At Patmos the students receive an education, a meal and a family. And through it all they receive the love of God.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:5 NIV)


Like what you see but want more? Check out Washington Cathedral's website for more information.