Greetings Narrow Gate,
Today I want to do something different. Rather than lay a devotion and some scripture on you, I would like to just pray with the Narrow Gate community and those others who view this email.
Before I get started, allow me to be Captain Obvious: This is a different Christmas. It is so radically different from any we've had since the end of WW II. Our war now is not with nations, but with a virus. Food, gasoline, and materials are not rationed, but contact with each other and fellowship is. The discouragement and depression that I see and hear as a pastor is rampant. And this is not due to the virus, it is due to the isolation that the virus has forced us to endure, by our own decision making. I'm not saying this mandated isolation is wrong, but it is something that we must confront and deal with together. All of us are being affected in some way.
However, this does not mean that we cannot celebrate Christmas. In fact, a proper focus on the birth of Christ and the earth shattering, eternity changing and soul saving implications for mankind are just what we all need to be reminded of this Christmas. We need to remember something else, Jesus came for mankind, yes. But he also came for each one of us as individuals. He came to earth so as to be able to take you and me back to heaven. We were on his mind. We were the focus of the plan.
Let us pray,
Father, we thank you for the blessings that we have received during this strange and difficult year. Forgive us for our complaining. May your Holy Spirit encourage and bless each of us right now. Let us know, that we are never alone, because your Spirit is with us. Strengthen and heal those of us that need this, help others with guidance and decision making, pour out your love on us so that it will overflow to others. Show us how to reach out to our neighbors who are suffering.
As you Spirit ministers to each of us, turn our focus outward, to those that you know need our love. Let each of us become a part of Your Christmas Miracle, all according to your will and design. We say this is a different Christmas, meaning different in a negative way. May you turn all this into something unplanned and special, something too good to pray for, because its beyond our understanding.
Father, I thank you for the people of Narrow Gate, all the scores of volunteers, members and friends. Bless these individuals and families. Hold them in your arms and love on them in a special way. Let this be a beautiful and blessed Christmas.
Father, we pray that you would touch us and heal us of this Covid-19 virus. We pray for safe and effective vaccines and treatments. Heal us Lord, in the name of Jesus Christ.
We thank you for Jesus, and we wait expectantly for his promised return. We pray this all in His name, Amen.
Merry Christmas Narrow Gate.
Do no harm, do good, and stay in love with God.
and Harmony UMC