Happy Wednesday, FCC! Looking forward to being with you all on Christmas Eve! May God increase our joy in him because of the great hope he has secured for us!
According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
1 Peter 1.3
We are essentially and irreducibly hope-based creatures. We are constantly building our lives around our hopes. We have hopes for the day, for the week, for the year. Our hopes are related to our relationships, our work, our play, our income, our children. When we have hope, we have the probability of joy. Without hope, we can spiral into the fog of depression.
If we build our ultimate hope on circumstances that death and disease can take away, we are destined to despair. But there is a hope that we can have, that death can't take away—a living hope. God has secured for you and me a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. This hope is guarded by God and protected for us. This hope is the new heavens and earth; it is a future existence without sin, death, or tear. It is a living hope because Jesus who died in our place has been resurrected, so that even if we die before Jesus returns, we, too, will be raised like Jesus. This is our great hope. We have a hope that isn't based in the circumstances in this life, that death can take away. We have a hope that is based in the death defying resurrection of Jesus.
As you look at your life, and as you pay attention to your heart, be honest and consider where your hopes are ultimately based. Are your hopes based in circumstances primarily? Or do you walk through your day knowing that your ultimate hope is secured and guarded by God. What kind of joy could you experience today, knowing that you have a hope that death can't take away?
This Sunday morning, I will be talking more about hope and joy from 1 Peter 1.3-9. Come ready to sing Christmas songs, and rejoice together in God's great work of securing for us eternal joy! Also, remember that on Christmas Eve, we have many visitors with us, so be on the lookout for how you can serve others and help them feel welcomed, noticed, and loved.
CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICES – DECEMBER 24
We will have our regularly scheduled service times of 9 and 11 a.m. We will also offer a candlelight and carol service at 8 p.m. in the evening. There’s still time to invite a friend or neighbor.
Thank you for helping us spread the word about our service times!
A NOTE ABOUT YEAR-END GIVING FROM FCC’S FINANCIAL ADMINISTRATOR, ASHLEY HINES
As we are in the Advent season, celebrating the boundless generosity that God’s given us in the gift of His Son, we ask that you consider ways that you can share the blessings of His richness as we close out 2017. The year-end contributions that we receive at Faith Community have a huge impact on the church’s ability to support our annual budget and make the kind of one-time investments that cannot be funded on the basis of regular, weekly and monthly giving. Would you consider making an additional gift at the end of 2017? Donations can be made via: offering during worship service, mail, online (fcchudson.com), stock donations and even Thrivent Choice Dollars.
To ensure the deductibility of your donations, do not file your 2017 income tax return, until you have received a written acknowledgement of your contributions from the church. Some of your contributions may not be tax-deductible, if you file your tax return before receiving this acknowledgment. FCC contribution statements will be issued by January 31, 2018 for contributions received or postmarked on or before 12/31/2017. If you’d like to view your giving statement before this time, please visit fcchudson.com, and click on FaithBase. Thank you for your generosity!
FCC OFFICES CLOSED
The FCC Office will be closed from December 25 through Jan. 1, to give the pastors and staff time to enjoy Christmas with their families. We will intermittently check voice mail and e-mail during the week.