Prepare Our Hearts

Prepare Our Hearts
Clarkston United Methodist Church's Bridges Out of Poverty training

Luke 3:1-18

Christ came into the world in human form to turn the way we think and act upside down, much as he did when he turned over the money changers' tables in the temple.

John the Baptist promised in Luke 3: 5 that when the Lord came “every valley will be filled, every mountain and hill will be leveled. The crooked will be made straight and the rough places made smooth.” And yet today we still let pride and self-interest get in the way of what we should be doing to further God’s kingdom.

When we moved to this city, my husband and I purposely joined a church that had an active outreach to the neighborhood around the church. Our church is in a poor section of the city. Fifteen years ago the church started a full afterschool program (K-5) free of charge to those who attend. We work closely with the local grade school for the children who are placed with us. So, every afternoon, we host 32 children. It is wild, crazy and noisy but also a blessing to all of us. The stories of the children who spend time with us are humbling. We started out serving only a snack after school but now serve a full meal because it may be the last meal many of our children receive that day. We work with a local homeless shelter so we can supply our kids with warm coats, gloves, and hats in the fall. Otherwise, many of these children would not be prepared for the cold weather. How many of us have had to worry about where our next meal would come from or whether we would have warm clothing in the winter?

During this Advent season, we should be preparing not just our houses for the coming of the Lord but also our hearts so that “all humanity will see God’s salvation.” (Luke 3:6) What are you planning to do to further God’s kingdom?

Prayer: Creator God, help us to not only be grateful for what we have but to also give of our time and resources so that all your children may be fed and clothed. Amen.

Dawn Armstrong is a member of Program Advisory Group from Dakotas Conference.

Posted or updated: 12/10/2016 11:00:00 PM

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Mission Focus:

Haiti: Haiti Hope House: Providing children with education and youth vocational training

Testimony for December 4-10:

Thanks to the support of the faith community, each Christmas season, children in our centers receive a special gift chosen just for them. Joy and excitement fill the room as each child receives their gift. Every now and then, you notice a child who pauses – perhaps to reflect upon the blessedness of the holy season. -Dave Howery, InterServ-St. Joseph, Mo.

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