I pray you will hear and participate in the story that our kids showed us this past Sunday. It is she story of a baby being born to nobody special, in an out-of-the-way town, two thousand years ago; but, it's also the story of Emmanuel, God with us, a light shining in the darkness, a Savior who will save people from their sins. It is the story that gives us hope that this broken, weary world will not continue broken and weary forever. God is making all things new. God is restoring life that is truly life. Life full of Joy and Peace.
So, we celebrate Christmas, the birth of Christ our Savior. Usually at birthdays, we give gifts to the one who's day of birth we are celebrating. How do you give a gift to Jesus Christ? Matthew 25 tells us to take care of "the least of these." Which is what I encourage you to do. Already, we have adopted families who can't afford it and bought them presents and food. Also, you may designate a monetary gift "Christmas," and give it on Christmas Eve, or any of the remaining Sundays of the year. The money will go towards our partnership with The Crossing, a homeless ministry in St. Joseph.
And, I am excited to announce a new partnership for 2015 with Hillcrest Transitional Housing and Grace Evangelical Church. Hillcrest Transitional Housing has a successful program of helping families get from homeless to self-sufficient. You can check out their ministry at www.hillcresttransitionalhousing.org. Together with Grace Evangelical, we have adopted one of Hillcrest's apartments. We will be providing food, furnishings, mentoring, and friendship for the families that move into this apartment. The transition program lasts 90 days, so we will help 4 families this year. This is not just a hand out, but helping people get on their feet. I'm proud to be a part of it. Look for more information in the weeks ahead.
There's another gift you can give to Jesus this Christmas...you! Join us and lift up your life to worship Jesus Christ at one of our Christmas Eve services of Carols & Candles: December 24th at 8pm, or if you're going to be gone on Christmas Eve, there'sDecember 21st at 5pm. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness does not overcome it.