Good News

It’s that time of year! The Christmas season begins with a day of thankfulness and food…a lot of food, usually.

Whether you are doing Thanksgiving at home or still socially distancing with a few family members or friends, there’s no denying that things feel different.
Likely a feeling of “less than” previous years.

Christmas doesn’t have to be, though.
Christmas doesn’t have to be diminished by a global pandemic because the beauty of Christmas isn’t found in stores or restaurants, parties or special church services. Christmas is found in our hearts.

This Christmas may not have all of the events that we’ve shared in the past, but it is just as joyous of an occasion as it ever has been. Christmas is about Good News.

Before the birth of Jesus, the nation of Israel didn’t think they had much to celebrate. As Rome moved in, their prospects of a bright and self-directed (or God-directed) future seemed to fade. 70 years have passed cementing a foreign ruler in their land. People were abandoning their faith and Rome’s tentacles had infiltrated every orifice of state, culture and church…

If Israel had a 24 hour news channel, it might look like one of ours, today.

This Christmas, I want to invite you to transcend the events of today.
This Christmas, I want us to remember that the birth of this tiny baby was the ushering in of good news…
subversive news…
a new story that many couldn’t fully comprehend.
This Christmas is a time to remember what we are really all about.

To that end, I want to invite you to join me in some pandemic appropriate activities to make this a special time of year for our church family and other families that are in need.

  1. Room in the Inn – Each Christmas, we have supported at least one family that is currently working towards self sufficiency or has graduated the program and is re-entering life outside the walls of RITI. This year we are continuing this tradition and you have an opportunity to participate. Just go to the sign up link here to see the needs and choose how you would like to participate. Then, bring your gifts to Journey by Sunday, December 13th.
  2. Reverse Advent for the Red Bank Food Pantry – There are many struggling with food insecurity this Christmas season. We have partnered with the Red Bank Food Pantry since it opened last year and have been very involved throughout COVID. This Christmas, we are partnering with other participating churches by putting together food boxes. Simply download the list here and bring your food back to Journey by Wednesday, December 23rd. This is a great opportunity to involve children, too!
  3. Christmas Adam Service – Send in a video of your favorite Christmas song. It can be of you singing a song or sharing why a particular song has been meaningful to you over the years. All videos will be used during our Christmas Adam service on Sunday, December 23rd.

There are many ways to participate as well as joining us in person (for now) or online through the Christmas season. Let’s celebrate the good news that has come to all people.

Pastor Mark

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