December 1, 2021
Can you believe it’s December? It feels like the year has FLOWN by. I would guess that part of the reason it feels that way for me is because my wife, Beth, and I have had our eyes glued to December for, well, nine months! We’re expecting our first child in just a couple of weeks, and that anticipation is making the season of Advent feel much more real this year. But while we associate Advent with anticipation for Christ’s birth (in the past) and Christ’s return (in the future), the real anticipation of Advent wasn’t really for a baby, but for the CHANGE that Christ will usher in.
Yes, change. Change because, if we’re honest, we live in a broken world. We need change because of hunger and thirst. We need change because of heartbreak and grief. We need change because of violence and war. We need change because of anxiety and depression.
This is ultimately what the hope of Christmas is about—that Jesus changes things and that Jesus will change things.
When we forget this aspect of Christmas, we simply just celebrate feeling good. But this season was meant to be a time of looking forward to how Christ will make things right.
That’s why I love that we give our entire Christmas Eve offering away. We find a problem in the world and try to make it better. We join God in making this world a better
place. For the last two years we’ve partnered with the Mozambique Initiative—a partnership between UMC churches in Missouri and Methodists in Mozambique. Last year we raised funds to support the purchase and operation of mobile health clinics to provide aid in remote areas of the country. And the year before that, we built a well/water tower/solar station to transform a village and provide them infrastructure that has saved lives.
This year Mozambique has faced not only the threat of COVID-19 and economic challenges, but waves of refugees fleeing conflict by escaping to northern Mozambique.
“The conflict has destroyed people’s jobs, lives and hopes for the future. Insurgents have ripped families apart, burning their homes, traumatizing children and killing people." - WFP’s Executive Director David Beasley in a recent visit to affected families in Cabo Delgado. “These innocent communities are now completely reliant on WFP and our partners to provide them with lifesaving food and help them get back on their feet. We must not fail them.”
The Mozambique Initiative, having seen the generosity of our church these previous years, has requested that we build a well in a village called “25th de Junho” that will
serve 10,000 people in need of clean drinking water, water pressure, and solar energy.
So this Christmas Eve, we’re not only going to celebrate the coming of Jesus, but we’re going to partner with God in bringing some relief to a world in need. We’re hoping to raise the entire amount of the project, totaling $34,275. We’ll be collecting this offering on Christmas Eve during our services, but also through mail and online giving
at bluespringsumc.org anytime through the end of the year.
Thank you for being a church that follows Christ’s invitation to care for those on the margins! I am so proud of our community and can’t wait to see how God uses your
generosity this year.