Hello Christmas! Where did 2018 go? Seriously, I feel like I am nowhere near the person I wanted to be by the end of the year, having barely touched my goals (primarily my exercise goal) for this past year. Nevertheless, with the change of season comes the holidays and the opportunity to take a breath, gather, and reflect.
I've been listening to Hillsong Worship's Christmas album, Christmas: The Peace Project, this last month as I've prepared our Christmas communication pieces here at FBC. The song that I have to constantly turn up and sing at the top of my lungs is "Seasons". (Confession time, this is why I lost my voice a few weeks back.) Here are the lines from the song that speak to my soul in a way that gives me hope for the future.
I can see the promise
I can see the future
You’re the God of seasons
I’m just in the winter
If all I know of harvest
Is that it’s worth my patience
Then if You’re not done working
God I’m not done waiting
You can see my promise
Even in the winter
Cause You’re the God of greatness
Even in a manger
For all I know of seasons
Is that You take Your time
You could have saved us in a second
Instead You sent a child
What season are you in? Is it one where God feels near, and It's a Wonderful Life? Perhaps it is a season filled with despair and hopelessness? Or maybe you are in a season of depression and anxiety? Wherever you are, I want you to hear that the God of seasons is there with you, and He is not done working in your life. Know today that God is FOR you and He can see the promise your life holds.
The Christmas Devotional Guide is available in the Commons or online at fbcstarkville.com/christmas. We have provided you with a list of 24 days of intentional actions to help you serve our community this Christmas season.
Here are a few of the ideas from the guide:
1. S'mores Night - Collect everything needed for s'mores, hot chocolate, and maybe a favorite Christmas treat and invite your neighbors over for a memorable night. Not able to invite the neighbors over? Consider packing everything needed for a s'mores night into a basket and giving it to your neighbors with an invite card to Christmas Eve at FBC.
2. A Gift for Military Families - Offer to babysit for a deployed military family so that they can go Christmas shopping kid-free or to enjoy a few moments of rest. (Really blow them away by babysitting the kids for an hour or two and providing them with dinner, restaurant gift card, or a s'mores basket.)
3. Pay-it-Backward - Pay for the car behind you in the drive-thru line at your favorite coffee shop or fast-food restaurant. (Consider leaving a Christmas Eve card with the attendant to give the person you paid for. Go all out by picking up a free #ForStarkville car decal in the Commons and place it on the rear window of your vehicle.)
Remember that being #ForStarkville is about intentional actions to break down the walls we allow to go up around us so that the church can be bigger than you, bigger than me. It is about building relationships with our neighbors so that they can know that God is for them, not against them. Will you live that way this holiday season?