But the Angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for see — I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord.” Luke 2:10-11
This last Friday, like the shepherds, I received some amazing news that I have not been able to stop sharing with the people around me. Lord of Life started out the month of December needing $68,000 in giving in order to end the year not in a deficit. And typically every year we get some large donations at the end of the year that help us make up for any deficit we might be running for a given year. But this year it was larger than it has been by quite some margin. Given the state of the world with rising costs of living, and economic burdens continually shifted on to the poor and middle class, I thought if we could even get within $20,000 we would be so blessed.
The members and community of Lord of Life are like these shepherds as well in your beautiful and faithful response to the looming challenge facing us. This community and its partners were able not only reach my goal of closing the gap to a $20,000 deficit but raised more than the $68,000 needed, ending the year with a small surplus.
This community believes in the mission of the Lord of Life - to share God's love. I know this because what happened this last month is unbelievable. $68,000 is a huge amount of money to raise in one month for any size church. Beyond that, the money didn’t come from any one person. There wasn’t some angel investor, some life line from a wealthy person, there wasn’t some large estate gift. This was the work of the community, coming together, believing and working toward the need for a faithful community that truly believes it doesn’t matter what who you are, what you have done or has been done to you, whether you are able to help physically or monetarily, you are a beloved child of God and have a place at God’s table in God’s coming kingdom.
This love and grace we are committed to is found in the story of the shepherds. The angel's message was not just for the shepherds, but for all people. It was a message of hope and redemption, a message that still rings true today. God's love is for all people, no matter who they are or what they have done. God sent his son, Jesus, to be the savior of the world, so that through him, we might have eternal life.
Thank you for your faithfulness in responding to the needs of this community. We are now in a great place to start 2023, building and continuing in the path that God is leading us.
New Years Blessings,