Kia ora All Saints whānau,
The countdown to the birth of Jesus is on! I (Emily) tried to get all my Christmas shopping done in October and November this year and thought I did well and yet I still seem to have missed some. One of the big reasons I tried to get sorted early is to avoid the mall we live so close to - the traffic around it is ramping up and people are heading there in droves! Sometimes I imagine what it would be like if people flocked to our churches like that, where true joy comes from (or should!).
Speaking of the mall, there is one part of Christmas there which I absolutely love and it's the Salvation Army brass band. I find it incredible that they are able to unashamedly preach the Gospel beautifully through their music, with songs about Jesus filling the mall, where many people likely wouldn't consider Jesus at all this season. They seem to me to be a little light of hope in an environment of stress and consumerism. I wonder if there are any situations that you or I could be a similar little light in our communities. How can we be a non-anxious presences to others? How can we show joy that doesn't come from a wallet? How are we being Jesus in our local communities we find ourselves in, or with our neighbours?
I would love to hear any little things you are doing so we can encourage each other. May God bless you all this week
Ngā mihi nui,
Emily, Summer, Guy and Andy