The Advent of Love this Christmas season focuses on the everlasting love brought to us through the Christ child. As we continue to journey toward the stable let us reflect upon our own journey's and how they have helped shape us into who we are today. Be joyful and appreciative for the memories formed and the love you have been given. It is in our memories where love is stored and reminds us of the beauty of life and living in community with others. This season we each get to reflect while we move forward following the Christmas star. The anticipation of hope in what will be is met with the astounding love that God is among us, fully present in our lives, not some far off distant place but here now.
Take this time to renew your commitment to love as you ponder what this Christmas means to you by watching the video below.
May you be filled with love this Christmas!
This week do acts of love to those around you!
My wife and I were able to vacation to Iceland a few years ago. We learned about the country, the people, their origins, and of course the food. One interesting thing we learned was the Icelands use of names. They do not use family names but only go by their first names. What would be called their last name is made up of their fathers or mothers first name with the addition of (son) or (daughter). Hence a persons name could be Jon Magnusson indicating Jon's fathers name was Magnus. If another person has the same name then they would add their paternal grandfather's name as well. I enjoyed hearing how the country had kept this tradition throughout the years which formed part of the overall country's culture. I know last names in the US are often passed down and hold significant meaning for our heritage and to have a different perspective was good. This interesting tradition got me thinking about the importance of names in particular the scripture Isaiah 43:1.
"I have called you by name, you are mine."
There is a comfort in someone using your first name. It's personal, down to earth, and lacks the formalities of tradition. To me, friends and loved ones use that name showing authenticity and genuineness. They know and understand who I am deep within behind the niceties of life. Deep relationships are built knowing who the other person is and calling them by their name. It is in that name where identity is known and created. The identity we have formed through the contexts of life that we have found ourselves in. Somewhere there is a true self who if we searched for each one of us can find that is already known by the divine.
As indicated in the scripture above God calls each of us by name and calls us God's own. We are God's beloved children. Just as the stars in the sky we are God's creation and expression of life. How precious it is to think that God knows my name, sees my inner self, and knows who I truly am through all the guilt, shame, and facades present. It is in this personal, genuine calling that I am known and loved for all that I am and can be, without judgement. What a special thought to have? To know no matter what I do there is a God that continues to uphold the love of creation beholding the people of this world.
We are never alone! God is there and will always be there with you. That's the message today. If you are struggling with something, feel alone, rejected, or outcast, know there is a Jesus that is constantly standing with you saying, "you are mine". Love surpasses understanding and even if we cannot conceptualize it, God's love is there. All it takes is your belief!
Please reach out to me or another christian organization if you would like to talk, pray, or whatever you need at this time.
To reiterate this message check out this incredible song by David Haas titled, "You Are Mine."
May you hear that voice calling you by name saying "You are mine, you are loved, you are not alone."
Thank you to all those following along. We appreciate your support and kindness for this continued ministry.
This week look in the mirror and tell yourself, "You are loved."
I started this journey two years ago in hopes of providing content to help others along their spiritual journey as well as learn about Community of Christ. I have learned a lot over these two years and have been blessed with some wonderful people to share their stories and experience on here. For our two year anniversary I wanted to share some lessons I have learned about this ministry and hopefully they are pertinent to your faith journey.
1. God journeys with us
The more I write and hear from others the more I know God is right there with each one of us on the journey. God is shaping who we are by the experiences we live in and through each day. When we respond to God's prompting in our lives we usually find ourselves giving to and blessing others. It is in these actions where God is fully present living, loving, and working. God is with us during the ups and downs and will forever be along the journey with us.
2. We must share our stories
When we share stories people begin to connect and understand who God is. It is in our personal witness that people come to know and feel the love of Christ. Stories are meaningful, inspiring, and empower others to find God. They also help us remember the times when we had a personal encounter with the divine and what it meant for us in that moment. Stories teach how God is moving and working in the world. It makes God's love into something tangible and real that can actually happen to me.
3. Everyone has something to contribute
Some of the most valuable and meaningful content over the last two years were from guest bloggers sharing their heart about their personal encounter with Christ. Many were flattered about the opportunity to share and wondered if it would be good enough. God has each given us stories to share which will contribute to the spiritual growth of others. I cannot stress enough that each one of us can contribute. We all have gifts, talents, and a story others need to hear.
4. No one is beyond God's grace
Life has a way of chewing us up and spitting us out. Bad circumstances and events happen to people and we often feel we are not worthy or deserving enough to be loved. But God thinks differently. God sees your worth and value and calls you a beloved child. God knows the struggles you have been through and yet loves you all the same. That's what grace is. God continues to choose you and call you by your name, because you are worthy and deserving of love.
Thank you to all those who have supported the blog these last two years. I have appreciated hearing the positive feedback.
This week hug someone and tell them they are worthy of God's love!
Craig Hidy like the majority of ministers in Community of Christ is a bi-vocational, self sustaining ordained minister. He is a member of the Midlands Mission Center Emporia Team and an ordained Seventy. He and his family, live in Topeka, Kansas.
The mission of the Seventy
“After this the Lord appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go. He said to them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. Go on your way. See, I am sending you out like lambs into the midst of wolves.” Luke 10:1-3 NRSV
What is a Seventy?
The Seventy carry out missionary work for the church in close association with other missionary leaders. They represent Christ primarily as ministers of evangelism through witnessing, inviting, and church planting.
They especially proclaim and promote Jesus Christ’s invitation to faithful discipleship through vibrant witness, and train individuals and congregations in witness and invitation.
They particularly minister with seekers, individually and in groups, to share the gospel in relevant ways and to invite response.
The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of Community of Christ. We believe individuals should be allowed to have their own opinions and be at different places in their faith journey.
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Community of Christ
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