The Best Presents
It’s that time of year when we try to pick out the best presents for our friends and our family members. We would all agree that Christmas gifts aren’t the most important part of this season, but it is a lot of fun to see someone be delighted by our choice for them. We all know that person who is able to find just the right thing. They have a knack for knowing what someone else would love to have.
Our Advent series this year is called “The Best Presents,” because God is the one who has given us the very best presents. Not just the things that will delight us, but the things that we really need to fulfill our lives. He gives us hope, peace, joy, and love. There’s another part of this gift-giving, however, because these are all presents that we can give to others as well. As God’s people we want to be people who offer hope, peace, joy, and love.
As I mentioned in the sermon yesterday, this is a season which is full of opportunities for us to do good to others. There are a couple of special opportunities highlighted in this E-Gram. One is the “Reverse Advent Calendar” that we are using this year in order to highlight food that can be brought in for the Danvers-Carlock Food Pantry. We are seeing an increasing number of families that are having a hard time making ends meet and who therefore rely upon ministries like the food pantry for their needs. This is a good, concrete way to make a difference.
The Annual Project Evergreen by the Lion’s Club is beginning again, and we have the opportunity to support local families with needed clothing items.
Also, Josanne is working to help provide holiday meals for those who have been affected by the Eastern Kentucky floods. Through donations that people have made, we were able to help with 50 Thanksgiving meals as well as helping provide for food baskets that were sent home with the families as well. It would be nice to provide this many Christmas meals and Christmas baskets as well. Additionally, we are planning for a work team to go to Eastern Kentucky from January 6-12 to work on some homes that have been affected by the flooding. If you are interested in going, talk to Steve Dennis.
There are, of course, many other worthwhile organizations who need our support to continue their work. To mention only a few there are the Mennonite Mission Network, Mennonite Disaster Service (who are working in Eastern Kentucky and in Florida), and the Midwest Foodbank. Of course, the list goes on with other worthwhile causes. I hope you’ll think of ways that you can use your own blessings to be a blessing to others.
God bless, Brian
Scripture readings for next Sunday
Isaiah 42:1-9—How does this passage speak about the hope that God gives us?
Matthew 12:15-21—What does it mean that “in his name the nations will put their hope”?
Psalm 33—What does this teach us about a nation that puts its hope in the Lord?
Romans 8:18-25—What is the connection between suffering, patience, and hope?