This past Sunday’s sermon text was a little out of the ordinary for the season of Advent. James 4:1-8 focused on the issues of arguments and complaining, the author of James asked a question “What is causing the quarrels and fights among you?” James 4:1 New Living Translation. Often during the Advent and Christmas seasons we get too caught up in the things that make us crazy, you know those things that make us go on a rant. The season starts too soon, the neighbors use the wrong color lights on their tree, or maybe like Lewis you don’t like the phrase “Happy Holidays”. Whatever it maybe these things cause us to get upset and rant, making us not appear as people filled with God’s gift of grace. The text from James states “so humble yourself before God… Come close to God and God will come close to you.” James 4:7-8 (NLT). Yielding ourselves to God and remaining close to God helps us be people who share grace and peace. When we remain in God’s presence, when we have our focus on God our quarrels, our fights and our rants, our crazy if you will, show up a lot less often. When we focus on God we see the forest not just a tree. God enables us to see the big picture so that the little things remain little. The story of Lewis shared by helps us realize our need for grace and we realize grace is much more important this time of the year. My prayer is that we will receive and share the wonderful gifts of hope, peace, joy, and love so that God can use us to point to the greatest gift, Jesus!

Please remember that we will celebrate one service at 10:45am on Sunday, December 13 as the Chancel Choir and the Praise Band lead us in worship with “Christmas Fantasia”. This is a wonderful opportunity to support our musicians as they have worked very hard to share this celebration of the birth of Christ!

Look for the information concerning the alternative gift giving opportunity. For those who you struggle to buy gifts for consider giving a gift in their honor to the mission work taking place in Kenya. Information is available in the bulletin each Sunday!