Youth News - December 2009
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Youth News
December 2009

The Christmas season is a great time of year! I love the music and I love the wonder and excitement that comes along with the whole holiday. Erin and I look forward to cultivating that sense of wonder for our son Caleb in the coming years.

But along with the wonder and excitement come hard times and harsh realities for many people. The holiday season reminds many of loved ones who are not here to share the moment with them. Others are wrestling with a deep sense of loneliness as they observe others who have families to share their Christmas with. There are those who are in hard financial situations and are trying to cope with being able to pay bills as they wrestle with the pressures of buying gifts. And lastly, there are those whose circumstances (and for some, their choices) have led them to the place where they don't even have a home this Christmas.

One of my favorite Christmas hymns proclaims, "Joy to the world, the Lord is come;" and the lyrics beg the question, "What joy can we proclaim to this world in this season where so many suffer?" And the reality is, that Jesus has come and has begun to set up His kingdom! It's a kingdom where hearts can "prepare Him room" and be re-connected to God, it's a kingdom where Jesus' followers are told to pray "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven," and it's a kingdom where Jesus' followers are called to live that prayer out in their daily lives - on earth as it is in heaven!

Isaac Watts originally wrote the lyrics to "Joy to the World" in a collection of writings he entitled Psalms of David in the Language of the New Testament . "Joy to the World" was his re-writing of Psalm 98, and the original title for his text was, "The Messiah's Coming and His Kingdom." That kingdom where sin is dealt with, where relationships are restored, where we have the hope of seeing our loved ones in Christ raised from the dead, where we are called to reach out to the stranger, where we called to reach out to the "least of these" in Christ (see Matthew 25) is moving forward today! Let's live today with hearts that have prepared Him room, and with lives that invite others to faithfully look forward to the day when "He comes to make His blessings flow, far as the curse is found."

Throughout the winter season, St. Paul's Youth Group will be collecting hats, gloves, socks, and other clothing items that will help keep people who are living in the cold a little bit warmer. Also, if anyone wants to donate some canned food items such as soups and chili, that would be great! I also want to encourage you to join us for some pizza and Christmas caroling to local nursing homes on Tuesday, December 15th at 5:30pm. Let's be the Church to a world that needs the love of Jesus in every way - reminding others of the hope of the resurrection, inviting others into the relationships that God gives us in His Church, and giving our goods to help others in need as we proclaim "Joy to the world, the Lord is come!"

Merry Christmas! - Matt

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