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encouragement from steve wise

Tuesday, December 15 2020

Dear friends,

“And not only this, but we also celebrate in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”

- Romans 5:3-5

Christmas is upon us – and this year, more than any other in recent memory for many of us – this Christmas looks and feels a little different. Our celebrations are always different from year to year, but perhaps this year is more different than usual.

Today, our staff will celebrate our annual Christmas lunch together. I will be asking this group of people – for whom I am very thankful and of whom I am very proud – to respond to this one question. What is the one thing they do not want to thank God for this year but know they need to because it has opened the way to experience the love and goodness of God in new ways?

In Paul’s words above, what “tribulations” or “pressures” do they celebrate because of what it has and is producing in them – perseverance, proven character, and hope. But notice the end result is greater than hope, it is the experience of the love of God. As the Passion translation paraphrases it, “And this hope is not a disappointing fantasy, because we can now experience the endless love of God cascading into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who lives in us!”

So let me ask you (and you can ask me), what do I celebrate this year that I do not necessarily feel like celebrating but I know that without it, I would not have had a deeper experience of God’s love for me in Jesus?

Worship: Please join us for worship on Sunday either live or via livestream as we celebrate Jesus as the Prince of Peace. If you are worried about services being crowded, our 8am and 11am services have plenty of room for you to come and join us.

Stewardship: As we close out our stewardship season, if you have not had the opportunity to fill out a pledge card for our 2020-2021 budget. You can access one on the Realm via the “Giving” tab on the left side menu.

May you be healthy and joyful in this Christmas season!

Your friend

Steve Wise

Posted by: Steve AT 02:55 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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