FAITH CONNECTION – FARMERSVILLE UMC
Please join us as we again worship through Facebook Live. Use this link to watch the service. And on this first Sunday in Advent, please consider passing it along.
Considering Charity Gift Giving this Christmas? If you are looking for a charity to donate to this Christmas, please consider these FUMC Mission and Partnership Team recommendations: Determined to Develop, UMCOR, Heifer International or the FUMC Mission and Partnership. Details’ regarding their mission and how to donate is attached.
When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
Reflection – Black Friday, Advent and Christmas
Black Friday has come to be known as the official kick-off for the ‘Christmas Season.’ But Christians celebrate Advent until December 24th, which begins their Christmas. Confused? Come to church and I will explain it all.
‘Jesus is the reason for the season’, is something we have heard before. And if that is true (it is), then we might want to look at what Jesus’ interests were.
Jesus came to love all people. Those who were on the margins; the poor, the blind, the oppressed, and the captive (to sin?), were of particular interest to him. With thoughtful reflection all of us can find ourselves on that list, maybe even multiple times.
I sometimes hear people say, ‘I want Christmas to be spiritual.’ I think they want more than just the traditions. They want a connection with God.
If you feel that way, then move about the season in the spirit of Christ. Go beyond the needs or wants of your family, and find ways to also be generous with those who are most in need, or to those organizations who help those most in need – your church or your favorite charity, or someone you know personally.
And I would say, it is not just about how you spend your budget. It is about how you spend all the resources God has placed in your care.
Francis of Assisi was known to say, ‘Preach the Gospel wherever you go. Use words if you have to.’ The implication is ‘preaching the Gospel’ is showing God’s love with all of our resources; our time, our money, our giftedness, and yes, even our words.
God of love and God of light, as we move into this holiday season, we are excited about the traditions that make the season bright. Lord, help us remember that traditions are intended to bring joy into the world, and to show goodwill toward all people. They are meant to bond us in our families and our friendships. As we enjoy the lights of the season, help us see through those temporal lights and into the light of Christ, who came to give his life for the poor, the blind, the captive, the oppressed and the sinner. May we grow in our ability to claim all people as our brother and sister, as Christ claimed us as his brother and sister, so that this may truly be a season of renewed peace. Amen.