2016 has been a challenging year. In my family we experienced loss on both sides, first with the passing of my grandfather in March, and then with the sudden passing of my father-in-law in November.
I'm no stranger to death - I lost both my grandmothers while still in my teens, - but this year it was different. Now that I'm older, I feel each loss in new and varied ways. One positive difference is that I'm now a Christian and have hope that I will see my loved ones again one day.
I admit, though, it was hard to get in the spirit as Christmas grew closer; I can't remember a Christmas when my heart was so heavy. This past Wednesday I attended a service at First Methodist Katy specifically for people like me and my family who are grieving during the holidays. The service was a blessing in itself, but what resonated with me most was this verse from the Gospel of John:
"The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." (John 1:5)
Though this year has been full of shadows, I'm still here, and I still see the light. Praise God, and merry Christmas!
Written by Whitney
As we anticipate this season of celebration of the birth of Jesus, remember that he has breathed the Holy Spirit on us and is with us now.
Romans 5:5: “For we know how dearly God loves us because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.”
Written by Cecil
Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.
Here Jesus rebukes the Pharisees for criticizing him for sitting with tax collectors and sinners and reminds the Pharisees that they, too, are sinners who may desire mercy at some time.
Recently my husband and I shopped at the mall for Christmas presents. It was quite a mass of humanity, and it would have been very easy to lose our tempers at the eager and sometimes thoughtless shoppers in the crowd. Instead, we had a great deal of fun when we bought two pretzels and sat for a while to eat and watch the shoppers rush by with their children in tow.
By removing ourselves from the fray, it was easier to see the people as individuals with individual problems and needs, rather than rude folks cutting in front of us at every turn.
During these last days of the shopping season, let us all remember that our fellow travelers, with their difficulties and schedules, deserve our mercy as much as we deserve Christ’s mercy because we all are sinners.
Written by Becky
When I think of the words steady, my mom is the first person who comes to my mind. No matter what is happening she is always there making sure everything happens the way it is supposed to. Whenever I have a question she is always there and willing to answer whatever I may ask. And best of all, she is steadfast in the way she loves me: always and with every part of her.
Written by Katheryn
This fridge broke me.
The past month has been a challenging one for my family. At the beginning of November I was involved in a car accident, and a week and a half later my father-in-law passed away suddenly. I like to think we've been weathering this stormy season relatively well, but then Friday night our refridgerator stopped working.
In the grand scheme of things, this is a minor inconvenience, I know, and as apartment dwellers, we get to let our apartment complex handle this, which is a blessing in itself. But as we were throwing out food that mere hours before had been perfectly good, the seed of frustration bloomed into anger. As I sit waiting for the repair men to come investigate and get us cool again, I can still feel the grey cloud hanging over my head. With everything that has been going on, this was just one thing too many for me to attempt to handle on my own, and it made so clear to me my desperate need for God.
So today I'm claiming David's prayer from Psalm 51 as my own:
Create in me a pure heart, O God,
Written by Whitney
“Jesus said to them, ‘My time has not yet come, but your time is always here.’”
The 12:12 Project is sponsored by Katy First United Methodist Church.