That’s right – Merry Christmas!
I am sure some of you are saying, “Is Pastor Jeff ok? He goes away for a week and he comes back wishing everybody a Merry Christmas? He knows it’s not Christmas, right?”
I love Christmas. I love the trees and the decorations and the music. But what I love most is that for a few weeks every year it seems like the culture around us is transformed by a spirit of generosity. During the Christmas season, people are looking for ways to give. The shelves of local food pantries get stocked. Clothes are purchased for struggling families. We remember the kids of prisoners and those in the foster care system with gifts and kindness. We are more apt to leave generous tips for our favorite waitress, mail carrier and mechanic. I always leave the Christmas season wondering, “What would it take for the Christmas spirit to live beyond the Christmas season?”
For the next month, we are going to celebrate Christmas in July. We brought some of the decorations out of storage. We will sing some of those favorite Christmas carols. We will tell the story of a baby being born in a manger with shepherds and kings in attendance. But most importantly we want to unleash the generosity of Christmas within our community in the middle of the summer.
So here are two ways you can help us spread some Christmas spirit this summer:
1) Gift Box—after worship today, pick up a box, fill it with personal care items, (soap, shampoo, toothpaste, feminine hygiene products, razors, etc.) and then bring it back and put it under the tree. Our goal is to collect 15,000 items to share with our partners at The NOAH Project, The Redford-Brightmoor Initiative Free Store, and our Bag Lunch Program.
2) 4,000 Sandwiches—after all of our worship experiences next weekend we will head to the Fellowship Hall where we will assemble 4,000 sandwiches for our friends at both the Salvation Army and Cass Community Social Services, as well as supporting our Bag Lunch Program.
Together we can show the world that Christmas is more than a season – it is our way of life.
Merry Christmas my friends,