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Come Home to Hope

Dear Friends,

Many times, in my life I have celebrated Christmas in July just for fun. But July in December? Wow! I pray that the winds have been gentle to you and your home. We pray for the people who have experienced loss, damage, and fear from the storms that have occurred across many states. Please see the message below from Lutheran Disaster Response. Making a donation to this ministry to those who are hurting, may be the most meaningful Christmas gift you share.

This week our Advent theme is Come Home to Hope! Our ministry partner this week is Safe Families. Safe Families partners with churches asking for prayer, support, and encouragement for the families who host and foster children of all ages with so many different stories. They ask for prayer for the families who are in the midst of challenges and transitions. We are thankful for the opportunity to celebrate what God has done and continues to do through the lives of the many servants, known as foster families. When life seems all but hopeless, Safe Families shine God’s message of Hope!

Let’s connect the dots from the ministry of Safe Families to the story of Mary, speaking with the Angel of the Lord in Luke 1:46-55.

And Mary said,

“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for the Mighty One has done great things for me,and holy is his name.

His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things,

and sent the rich away empty.

He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”

The music in my office continues to play, over and over again, Fill This Place, by Red Rock Worship. It may not be a Christmas song in your mind, but it is for me. You can imagine the sleigh bells in the background and imagine how they sang this song on the roof tops waiting and waiting for a miracle. I hear the words over and over again,

…Father we are on our knees with every heartbeat…

We bring you this offering…Father we’re crying out…

Glorious love surrounds us, Lord come and fill this place...

They cried out and we cry out in our own time for God’s gift of hope right here and now. It is indeed God who fills this space by filling each of us with the gift of hope, the gift of God’s grace! This is a message of hope we invite our family, friends, and all neighbors to celebrate on Christmas Eve. Please plan to join us at one of our four services. We expect the 7 p.m. service to be smaller in attendance if you are hoping for more social distancing space.

Peace to you always,

Pastor Katie

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