Beloved Community,

We are facing difficult times as the weather changes and the extreme cold moves in… maybe it is a signal for us to re-evaluate our commitment to speak up for those who cannot speak.  The recent Middle Tennessee Flood has left families who still need serious help and this winter’s forecasted difficult economic climate will make it impossible for many of our citizens to make it through financially.  This is a concern for those who follow Jesus. 

I know at our Church, CCC, there are fifty or more families still in need of support for Christmas, which tells me there are many more from your churches or neighborhoods hoping for help.  It doesn’t take long to do the math, to realize those with resources are being called upon to carry much of the load on behalf of those without.  This is the Lord’s way of caring for His people.  He simply uses ‘all of us’ to take care of ‘all of us.’

One quick story from the neighborhood.  There is a lady living in her car in the parking lot of a local grocery store near Hard Bargain.  She does not respond well to overtures that you and I would normally say yes to, as in, "come to my house" or "go to the Nashville Rescue Mission and get warm."  She is somewhat paralyzed in her inability to make decisions and the bitter cold drains the gas as she tries to keep the car running.  Some people give her food and a local mechanic who is benevolent has been there for her to help fill her gas tank-- but she needs so much more. 

Admittedly this is a rare and extreme case of someone in trouble across many areas: emotional, physical, spiritual, psychological etc.,  but still we are called to cross the road to where the wounded people lay bleeding.  Pray for all those who like this precious soul don’t have the strength or wisdom to come in out of the cold.  Maybe we can go to them in more creative ways?  Maybe we can take the time to look up the many resources available to help those in need and contribute our time, talent and treasure to build the Lord’s Kingdom?

God bless you this season as we celebrate the one who was born poor, probably in the cold environment of a livestock barn and then quickly spent some time as a homeless refugee in North Africa.  Jesus knows all about being cut off and forgotten.  He is the one who bleeds for His people.  He gives us an abundant and eternal life of warmth in Him, not because we earned it or deserved it but because He loves us and demonstrated that love by crossing the parking lots and barriers of our lives to ‘tow’ our cars home!  Trust in Him by faith as He equips you to believe the Gospel.  He will transform your life!

Deep love as we Worship, Care and Serve,