Pastor Dave’s eNote:What Does “A Different Kind of Christmas” Mean?

Categories: Pastor Dave's eNote

The King will reply, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of my brothers of mine, you did for me.”  Matthew 25:40
Over the last couple of weeks we have been talking about a Christmas of a Different Kind. What we mean by this, is a Christmas more like the first Christmas. The first Christmas was humble, quiet, uncertain and yet favored. To be sure, it was miraculous, but in a way the world missed. God’s son, born in a stable to rumor ridden parents, was less than perfect, but it was favored by God. The first Christmas wasn’t about things, but the extravagant scandalous love of God. Most of all, it wasn’t a Christmas filled with busyness, but a Christmas filled with hope. The first Christmas was humble, favored, hope-filled love.
At the beginning of this series, I challenged the congregation to spend $1 on the needs of the least, last and lost for every $1 spent on oneself. This year, American’s will spend over $600B dollars on Christmas. Imagine these resources, year after year, being spent to eliminate poverty, build Central American schools, build wells in Africa, or used to combat poverty in our own nation. Many of you accepted this challenge and it has been exciting to hear what God is not only doing through you but what God is doing in you. You see, when we partner with God to bring about a just and compassionate society, God pours His favor upon us.
One of the saddest stories to touch our city this holiday season was the shooting of two homeless men in downtown Atlanta. Both men, shot at separate times, were shot as they slept on our streets. Having worked among the homeless, during my time at Emory, I am familiar with the abuse the chronically poor often face.  Much of it does not get reported. As a young person, growing up in public housing and living on public assistance, I know personally what it is like to feel the resentment from others who can provide for themselves. The violence is real. Evil always seeks to destroy the godly and the most vulnerable of God’s people. Jesus experienced the threat of such violence, under King Herod, and as a result, His family had to flee to Africa.
Perhaps, this is why the last parable Jesus told before He died on the cross, was a story that revealed His heart for those who are the most vulnerable, impoverished and forgotten.  In the last lesson to His disciples, Jesus reminded us, when we give to the hungry, poor, sick and imprisoned, we are in fact giving to Him.
This Christmas, I want to offer you a few opportunities to align yourself with God’s mission in the world and experience a different kind of Christmas.
ONE:
Consider making a donation to our Human Trafficking Ministry and/or our Solomon House for trafficked girls. Last week, Out of Darkness recused a 17 year-old girl who had been trafficked for over 2 years. She is currently staying with a family in our church, until an appropriate placement for her can be located. If you would like to be a part of this work, you can donate online, or write a check and note Solomon House in the memo line or online in the memo field. No donation is too small.
TWO:
Consider bringing a new, or slightly used, men’s or women’s winter coat with you this Christmas Eve.  Or, as some have already done, drop it off at the church this week. Boxes will be available at the tent, or outside the sanctuary, at all Christmas Eve services. Also, we are in need of men’s socks and children’s winter clothing for the Atlanta Dream Center. These items will help in their ministry to the children of Atlanta’s 4th Ward.
THREE:
If you are interested in going with us to Atlanta’s Hurt Park on Christmas day to help distribute the donations we collect, we are leaving HMUMC at 10:00am. Or, meet at 11:00am, at the Discover Mills Park and Ride, located by the Bass Pro Shop. We’re partnering with Calvary Chapel Church on Spout Springs.
FOUR:
Consider bringing items for the pantry. Especially helpful this time of year are canned vegetables, canned fruit, boxed cereal and pasta. We have helped a record number of families this year! There is no doubt, God is blessing this ministry.
FIVE:
If you are not able to give, I hope you will receive God’s love, grace and favor in your life. I hope you will remember the greatest gift ever given was given to you by the creator of the world. One day soon,  because of baby born in a manger, all will be well.
In Christ,
David L. Davis
For more information about all of our Christmas Eve service and upcoming events at HMUMC, please visit our homepage at www.hmumc.org.
Author: Jenn Harris

“I am dedicated to helping our church communicate the love of Jesus Christ, and passionate about helping people connect with others and our amazing God.”

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