LOVE ALL (Sheree Winger)
Christmas has always been my favourite holiday. There are so many traditions, get-togethers, and activities to enjoy. As a child I was always the first one up Christmas morning. I loved looking at the tree, in the dark, glowing with lights and full of presents underneath. My sisters and I would sort the gifts into piles and try to figure out what was in the “big gift boxes”. Afterwards we would try to be patient as my dad slowly dragged out the morning rituals before opening gifts.
One of the best parts of Christmas is getting gifts for people. Yes, giving is one of the “5 love languages” and happens to be my number one. There’s nothing like finding that perfect gift for a loved one and anticipating the expression on his or her face when it is opened. Every year we ask my dad what he would want for Christmas and he always replies with, “Oh you don’t have to get me anything.” One year when I pressed him for a better answer he replied, “Donate my gift to charity”. I didn’t like this response at first but then decided to respect his wishes. I found out about Angel’s Ministry which allows you to buy gifts for children whose parents are in prison. I picked the names of two girls off the tree and bought them gifts based on what was suggested in the envelopes. My dad and I were able to deliver the gifts to the two girls at their home. It was a great experience to know that we were able to make their Christmas a little brighter and to see the faces of the children we were helping. And of course watching my dad’s face as we handed the presents to the little girls – priceless.
1 Thessalonians 4:9-10
Challenge (by Devon Wagler)
I love the statement in this passage that says, ‘for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other,’ (NIV). Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be taught by God? Or maybe you do? I think that we’ve all gone through those moments in our lives when we think of something we ought to do for someone? Have you ever had a situation where you felt like you could, or should do something for someone in need, whether it was a phone call, a note, fixing their toilet, or making them a meal? Have you ever considered that these could be one of the ways that we are taught to love each other? Consider this, what is one new thing that you could do to show love to another person in our congregation, and one person outside our church? Let God teach you how to love by listening to those thoughts.