As Mike and I listened to the sermon on Sunday, we were both transported back twenty-nine years ago to a Bible study we attended when we were first married. I can picture it now–sitting in a circle with other newly-married couples in a small duplex outside of Lubbock, Texas. One of the young men in the study piped up a piece of advice that he said helped him deal with difficult or annoying people. To avoid feelings or anger or impatience, he would remind himself how to act by saying, “I love that person” aloud or in his head if the situation did not permit a vocal response. He shared as an example when someone had cut him off in traffic that morning, his human response was to be angry, annoyed, and frustrated. However, he said instead of turning those feelings into road rage, he yelled, “I LOVE THAT PERSON!” as loud as he could in his car and let it change his perspective.
Well as funny as that was, the advice stuck. Even now when Mike and I are in the car and someone pulls out in front of us or cuts us off in traffic, we’ll look at each other and say, “I love that person!” It always brings us a good laugh, but it is actually good theology. We are called to love. Not just people who are nice to us. Not just people who love us back. Not just lovable people. We are called to love all. Why? Because He first loved us. We were (and still are, at times) difficult, annoying, and worse.
However, God loved us enough to send His Son. We didn’t deserve it. We certainly couldn’t have ever earned it. But God demonstrate[d] His love toward us in that while we were sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). When we love others, we reflect that same love. Jesus said himself, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” John 13:35. May we all be billboards for the love of Christ this week by loving one another!
- There will no normal Wednesday night activities tomorrow night! However, parents can drop children 5th grade and younger off to enjoy fun activities at the MBC Kids “Parents’ Night Out” from 5-8 pm. Cost is $10 per child with a $20 max per family. You must preregister your child to take advantage of this “night off” so click here to ensure your kids have a spot!
- Also, tomorrow evening, Bill Curry will be bringing up a truckload of supplies for the Venus Prison Ministry gift bags. If you are available around 6 pm, please head over to the Senior High Youth room to help him unload his truck. Then, on Saturday, December 21st starting at 8:30 am, volunteers will be packing the gift bags for the inmates of Venus prison. We’d love to have you join us.
- There will be no Sunday School this Sunday, and the church offices will be closed from December 23rd until January 2nd. If you have an emergency, please email the church office. Our traditional candlelight service will be from 5-6 pm on Tuesday, December 24th. There will also be no Sunday School or Children’s Church on December 29th. We take a break from offering children’s activities these weeks to give our amazing children’s workers their own break for the holiday. Please see Lydia Weldy if you would like to help with Children’s Ministry in the new year!
- We will start the new decade in January with the kickoff of all Wednesday night ministries on January 8th. We are offering a new class called “Engaging Mind and Culture” which intends to help us, as Christians, answer the tough questions our culture can throw at us. Email Doug Arendsee if you have any questions about this class.
- We are also starting a Bible study January 12th for families who want to study the Bible alongside their older children. This groups will be exploring the end times—specifically the book of Revelation on Sunday evenings from 6-7:30 pm. Mike Hogue will be teaching. Email Linda Hachat if you have any questions or need more information.
- Some have asked the status of our youth pastor search. The search firm, Slingshot, has just provided us with another set of potential Student Ministries Pastors to review. We are particularly excited about this round of candidates! Please pray for wisdom for the search committee as they interview these candidates and talk to their references!
- Finally, some people have asked where we currently stand regarding our building debt so they can plan end-of-year giving. With the refinancing completed and after the upcoming January payment, we should owe less than $300,000. This represents a reduction of about $50,000 just in the last three months! To God be the glory!
Save the Dates!
January 11th Colombia Chili Cook-Off
January 22nd Family Meal Night (Tacos & Nachos)
January 26th MBC Women’s Coffee and Conversations Game Night (BUNCO!)
February 15th Youth Fundraiser Dinner Theater/Talent Show
In closing, God
loved us more than we can even imagine. Let us now imagine ways we can reflect His love this season
by loving others!
In service to Him and