Last night Rachael and I were determined to enjoy some December hot cocoa, unseasonably warm weather notwithstanding. So we started opening windows to let the night air at least bring the house temperature down to the mid 70s. The key to natural cooling, of course, is a good cross breeze. Opening one window does very little to bring outside air in. Opening a second window on the other side of the room gives the air somewhere to go.
This dynamic carries over to the flow of God’s love that we celebrate during Advent. God the Father sent his eternal, beloved Son to live in our skin, show us what God is like, and die for our sins and rise to give us eternal life. This gift is unparalleled–the gift of life. Yet if we only open one window to receive this life and love, we miss out on its fullness. We must open the second window to share God’s life and love with others. Like the apostle John, we make this gift known to others “so that our joy may be complete” (1 John 1:4).
Hopefully you find ways to do this every day. You pause to listen to a hurting co-worker, giving them Christ-like presence. You find ways to speak of your hope of resurrection when conversations about death arise. You make small sacrifices so others can have small tastes of love and life. In all these things, you seek to point others to Christ and thus share the gift God has given you.
During this season we are also reminded of others God has raised up to share his gift of life and the opportunity we have to support their work financially. I hope this would motivate you to give generously to Whitton Avenue Bible Church as we seek to make much of Christ in our worship, nurture, and mission to the neighborhood where God has placed us.
Along with your giving to our church family, I would also encourage you to consider donating to the life-giving ministries that we highlighted during Mission and Mercy Month. They did not ask me to make this request. I simply ask because I remain convinced that they have unique inroads to bring new life to the dying and broken in our world.
Choices Pregnancy Centers engages women in crisis pregnancies every day, bringing both physical life to abortion-vulnerable children and offering eternal life to their parents. CPC currently has an exciting opportunity for a new ministry and administrative facility in Glendale. If you wanted to learn more about this need, I know Raul Reyes [firstname.lastname@example.org], who preached at Whitton in October, would love to share the vision.
Mending the Soul Ministries brings the message of Christ’s healing and restoration to those who have been impacted by abuse. At the “Inspiring Change” banquet in October we heard about the significant opportunities Steve and Celestia Tracy have to bring God’s life and love to foster parents and children in Portland and Phoenix as well as to survivors of horrific violence and abuse in east Africa. Currently ministries from a dozen nations are waiting for opportunities to have the Tracys’ material translated into their language. The harvest is plentiful for the healing message of Christ!
Please take time this Advent season to consider how you might open another window through financial generosity to our church family and these ministries. As you do, may your joy in God’s ultimate gift be more and more complete!
See these websites for online giving: