Many of us are list makers, especially this time of year. We make lists of who to invite to our Christmas party, what we need to buy for everyone on our list, what we need to get at the grocery store, and of course “things to do.” And of course, there’s the list of what we hope someone will give us for Christmas. Yet, most of us want something more. What most of us really want for Christmas are gifts that never wear out, things like hope, peace, joy, and love. This year during Advent, the Sunday messages will focus on these important gifts so we will experience “A Life-Giving Christmas” this year instead of one that drains our energies.

Part of having a life-giving Christmas is spending time each day in prayer and reflection. If you haven’t picked up an Advent devotional, Living the Gospel Life, be sure to get one and use it.

As we continue our “All IN” focus, I want to remind you that the Advent and Christmas seasons are great times to INvite those for whom you’ve been INterceding (praying) and INvesting time in to join you for worship or a special activity. The cantata will be offered at the 9:30 and 11:00 a.m. worship services on Dec. 22. Christmas Eve candlelight services are as follows: 5:00 p.m. Family Service; 7:30 p.m. Traditional Service; and 11:00 p.m. Communion Service.

“O Come, All Ye Faithful!”

On January 5, we will celebrate the coming of the Magi. Jan. 12 is the baptism of the Lord. Then on Jan. 19 I will begin a four-week series based on Adam Hamilton’s book, “Why? Making Sense of God’s Will.” We will wrestle with the difficult questions, “Why do the innocent suffer?; Why do my prayers go unanswered?; Why can’t I see God’s will for my life?; and Why God’s love prevails.” This might be another good time to invite someone you’ve been praying for.

Tom and I wish the best for you this time of year and pray that you will have a life-giving Christmas and countless blessings in the new year!

Pastor Anne

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