Christmas Letter 2016

Merry Christmas Friends!

     I’ve been putting off this Christmas Letter.  It’s not that I didn’t want to do it.  I wasn’t sure what to write.  What meaningful words do I want to send to you that I haven’t already said in the Thanksgiving letter and that won’t appear in my Advent sermons?  Then I figured it out—I have a question to pose to you-- What message are we sending?  When we send out our Christmas cards, when we interact with all we meet, when we are on the computer are we conveying our faith as well as our love?  Are we remembering to “Keep Christ in Christmas” this holiday season?  Are we remembering to keep Christ alive in our hearts always?  What does that look like?  What does living your faith look like?

     The election has highlighted the deep divide and great pain many people are experiencing in our country.   In a culture with 24-7 access to information, it is easy for us to be consumed with negativity.  It is easy for us to send the wrong message.  We forget to treat each other like we’re human beings with feelings and more importantly—children of God. Send a message of love.

     Let's all seek to share a witness!   Whenever you interact with someone this holiday season, remember they are a child of God.  God’s light is shining inside of them.  God's light is shining inside of us.   Live with Jesus in your heart and look for the divine in the other.  I'm reminded of the words in Jackie Wilson's song with the lyrics, “Your love keeps lifting me higher and higher.”  God’s love lifts us higher and higher if we let it.  Now that's a message worth sharing! Send a message of love. 

    Jesus—the one who came to save us—the one whose birth we are awaiting—taught us many lessons.   Among them, He taught us to love God, love our neighbor, love our enemies, love ourselves.  He taught us to care for the orphaned, widowed, marginalized, hungry, thirsty, naked, poor, imprisoned, immigrant, and the stranger to name a few.  Let these lessons and that great love live inside of you; they will save you.  And when you live with Jesus alive in your heart, others will be so attracted to the light and the love, they may be saved too.  Let God’s love lift you higher and higher this Advent, in whatever way you need it too.   Let that carry over into the New Year and always.  Let the message you send out, always be one of love.

    God loves you more than you can possibly comprehend.  Your church family cares deeply about you.  We are here for you.  We love you. We appreciate you—your life, your gifts, your talents, your service, your generosity, and your spirit.
     I wish for you an Advent with a faith deeper than ever before, a Christmas where love is felt and shared more fully, and a New Year where you strive to follow God’s will for your life more closely than ever before.

Infinite Love, Blessings and Peace,
 Pastor Julia Singleton

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