James 1:17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. (NIV)
The blessing of winter is upon us and soon we celebrate the birth of our salvation! I have always enjoyed this time of year. I have many fond memories of bundling up to play in the snow with friends and neighbors, sledding wherever we could find a slippery slope, and most of all coming home to the steamy windows of a warm house to shed wet gloves and boots. Winter in general, and Christmas specifically, holds a special place in my childhood. I am thankful to have positive memories of this time of year, I know not everyone does. Many of the people we come in contact with would just as soon skip over late November, December, and jump right into mid January. As an adult I understand how this time of year can be very difficult for so many reasons. It’s easy for us to get caught up in the flurry of Christmas parties, gift hunting, family get-togethers, ugly sweaters and eggnog without recognizing the people hurting right in front of us. A friend of mine (and former shelter resident) told me the other day that he has always preferred to stay blind drunk during the holidays to avoid the pain of seeing the seasonal cheer everywhere he looked. It was a good reminder that Satan is actively at war trying to destroy, corrupt, and pollute everything he can get his hands on, this season is no exception. Please pray for those in your communities and ours that have yet to know the peace that comes with the knowledge of the everlasting love of the Father. The people that we can pray for are right in front of us, our friends, neighbors, co-workers, and family, actively attacked with the lies that the peace they want so badly can be found either in isolation from God or through their own hard work. I say all this not because I am discouraged but because I am encouraged that we should continue to do whatever work is placed in front of us to live out our faith as an encouragement that, “Every good and perfect gift is from above…”. Time spent in prayer on someone’s behalf is one of the most precious gifts you can give this season.
1 Timothy 2:1-4 I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. (NIV)
I hope your Christmas is wonderful! We are blessed to be able to spend it with friends and family. We have so much to be thankful for, first and foremost the blessing of a living God through whom we can find hope and peace.
In His Service,