Christmas is right around the corner, and so are our annual Christmas kickoff and Christmas Eve services. For whatever reason, people who do not typically attend church are more likely to go during the holiday season. Statistics show that most people are willing to attend a service and give serious consideration to the message, when someone they know, love, and trust invites them and brings them to worship with them.

Please take advantage of this holiday season to invite family and friends to gather with us for worship. Especially be mindful that our Christmas kickoff is this Sunday, December 7. Bring those people where you live, work, learn, and play with you. That night feel free to bring them back, as we as a church family gather to enjoy the smells, tastes, and sounds of Christmas.

I know what some of you are thinking. I’ve already invited them and shared my hope with them and they weren’t interested. Just remember that it took me and many others quite a while before we would come and give consideration to the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Do not grow weary in doing good.

And do not simply attempt to bring them to church. Be praying for them. Begin having conversations with them about their own faith and find out ways that you can be praying for God’s blessing on their life. God might use you to lead them to anchor their life and hope in Jesus. That is, after all, what it means to live hopeful and be helpful!

It’s hard to mention Christmas without talking about the new year. This upcoming year is the “Year of Hope!” We are going to discover what hope is.

I want to encourage you to begin praying for how God will guide you to live hopefully and help others anchor their life and hope in Jesus. A big part of the “Year of Hope” is going to be prayer. I will tell you more about that in the first couple of weeks of 2015. Let me encourage you to begin now to be more intentional about praying. Let me also encourage you to ask God to inspire us to be a people of prayer. I believe God is sending us someone in late January who will help us in this endeavor, but we need to go ahead and begin to pray and to prepare our hearts for God to do an amazing work in us and through us.

I love you Living Hope! I love being your Pastor and I can’t wait for this upcoming holiday season as we celebrate Advent together.