Merry Christmas! I hope this is a joyful time for you and your family… So now that Jesus is here, we can all sit on the couch, eat a bag of potato chips and relax. Well not exactly, God calls us to be radical. I mean come on, I’m 26, baby Jesus has been born 25 times in my lifetime, why does the 26th time matter? I had thought recently that attached baby Jesus and Christmas, duh. Well, actually: not duh. Did you know… that Advent is actually a preparation time for heaven. Advent isn’t all about the birth of baby Jesus. That happened about 2017 years ago. Advent is an active preparation that is similar to Heaven. I heard recently that Christmas is about celebrating baby Jesus, but the main purpose of Christmas is to live out the faith that we already have. That is baby Jesus’ wish for us on His birthday. (BTW can you imagine being 2017 years old? That’s kind of crazy). The next question is: How do we live out our faith? The answer to that question is going to differ a bit, but we are all called to take part in acts of mercy across different ages and places. I recommend living our faith by using our memory. What? Yes, just remember. Remember through the lens of the Church this Christmas. The world wants you to look through the lens of Christmas as nostalgia. The world wants you to remember AND live in the past, by trying to recreate happy moments and feelings you’ve had in other Christmas’. However the Church offers a different perspective. Through our faith, we are called to remember our past, and let it refuel us to move forward in bold confidence and hope.

The Church calls us to use our hope and the gift of our faith to shine light into the darkest places.

This is the time of year with the least amount of sunlight, and the most amount of darkness. Will you carry your candle to pass the flame of hope and joy to others in desperate need? The need is great, but through the Church and using your memory of God’s presence in your life, you can be an instrument of hope and joy to scatter the darkness with Christ’s light. Hey, while I am thinking about it, let me remind you of the invitation to join us on the Adult Mission Trip to Houston in late February. What a great way to serve Jesus in a New Year and new town!