What are you hoping for this Christmas? In a time when you should be focusing your attention on the celebration of the birth of Jesus, are you letting your mind dwell on more worldly things? I confess that even during my prayer and devotion times, my mind often shifts from a prayer for a family member to wondering whether they will like the gift I selected for them, or whether I will be able to safely spend time with them this year, or even what I need to remember to write on the grocery list. And then I say a quick, “Sorry, God,” and try to refocus.

In Sunday’s sermon, Pastor Kim reminded us to let go of the noise of the world, unclutter our minds and sink into silence, spending time alone with God, listening for what he has to say to us. She also suggested we confess the sins we replay in our minds and release those burdens.

Romans 12:12 says, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” What an appropriate verse for these challenging times!

Are you remaining mindful of your hope and joy in Jesus? Are you on the lookout for others who may need hope? Can you serve them in some way in the name of Jesus? Might you invite them to attend one of our Christmas Eve services, either in person or online?

In the book, The Uncluttered Heart, the author finishes each reading with words to carry in our hearts for the day. My favorites this week remind me to ask God to deepen my longing for him and to be God’s partner in hope. I’ll be anxious to hear about your favorites and also to hear what you did to carry them out.

Sharon Myers

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