Sometimes Christmas is not "the most wonderful time of the year" or "the hap - happiest season of all," as the Andy Williams song describes it. Ideally, we want to enjoy special times with those we love, church and community celebrations, eating seasonal treats and sharing gifts. But the season can introduce a time of overspending, financial pressures, relational stress and grief over family members who are no longer here to celebrate with us. I understand these issues. Maybe you also identify with this description of the holidays.
To deal with the potential "down side" of the season, my experience has taught me to create an "up side" with three simple steps. First, read a daily Advent devotion that injects the biblical meaning of Christmas into the busy schedule of the season. Second, pray for our missionaries. The work they do around the world is the reason Jesus was born in Bethlehem. Third, give generously to international missions. These gifts get more mileage than other gifts we are stressing over. Giving to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions (LMCO) is an eternal gift.
Since this week is the first week of Advent and the week of prayer for LMCO, I hope this brief reminder will bring a little light to your week and encouragement to your soul. Both occasions can make the season "the most wonderful time of the year," and redirect our attention to things that really matter.
Visit the Biblical Recorder’s Advent page for helpful resources and read stories about your IMB missionaries like this one in Nepal. Many more stories are available at IMB.org.
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