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Countdown to Christmas!

As we move closer to the holy day (holiday) where we focus on the wonderful coming of our Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus, we must resist the temptation to fall into the Western world's patter of consumerism and materialism. When Jesus came, he brought the gift of Himself. Wouldn't it be wonderful if what our loved ones needed most was simply our arrival? Well, in some ways this is true. Your time and presence with loved ones will provide them with a deep sense of love, belonging, and comfort. Your presence should communicate something of value that touches the very soul of those around you.

That being said, sometimes the little one has outgrown their shoes. The middle one needs a bike that lets them ride without their knees bumping into the handlebars. The oldest probably needs a new winter coat, or a gift card to offset the cost of their newest hobby. With these examples, we realize that our loved ones have needs that are practical in addition to their emotional and spiritual needs. Would it be okay if we encouraged you to place a little more emphasis on the spiritual and emotional wellbeing of your loved ones this holiday season? While it certainly is necessary to meet those practical needs, it is the meeting of emotional and spiritual needs that carry an eternal outcome. Our main focus is always to be on the eternal best interest of those in our wingspan. With the Lord's help, we will not fall prey to the worldly culture around us.

Let's pray together, "Father, we come to You in the name of Jesus. Thank you for who You are and for sending Your Word in flesh to accomplish our redemption and to give us resurrection power! This holiday season we ask for Your wisdom to guide our decisions in ways to bless our family and friends with that which will last longer than new shoes, jackets, or bikes. We pray now for there to be eternal outcomes resulting from our time with family members and friends this Christmas. Let your Holy Spirit and power be present in each interaction. Our world needs You, Father. Our families need You. Our hearts burn for You! Thank you, Father. In Jesus' mighty and wonderful name, Amen."

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