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  • Pastor Linda Settles

Love Came Down


I remember being a child and wondering what I might get for Christmas. Some years were leaner than others, but there was at least one gift under the tree for me. The thing is – where do you hide it so that inquiring little minds don’t find it? That is the age-old challenge for parents. Especially those with inquisitive little ones who get into everything! So, you figure you’ll put it up high, like on the top shelf of your closet.


It's rough on short folks! Whether it’s being a kid and looking for presents, or as an adult going to the grocery store, inevitably what I want is on a top shelf, where I can’t reach it. After my husband cooks, the spices seem to get rearranged and most of what I need is on the top shelf, where I can’t reach it. Sometimes I would open the bottom cabinet and step onto the lip, hoping not to break it! Then I would reach up and get what I needed. Other times I would call my husband or grab a chair from another room. Then I bought a stepstool and life has forever changed! I can reach what I need, when I need it as long as my trusty stepstool is around.


Over two thousand years ago, the world was separated from God. And even though people may have reached up for God, there was no Word coming down. God was silent for four hundred years! There was no stepstool or ladder big enough to reach God. The people were stuck…


In those days there was no king in Israel;

all the people did what was right in their own eyes.

Judges 21:25


Then, on one holy night, God sent His love down to us! In the form of a baby who would grow up and look like us, walk like us, and show us what true love is because He came from God and God is love.


Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love.

1 John 4:8


Now, true hope is in our reach, true peace is in our reach, true joy is in our reach, and true love is in our reach! We have restoration and redemption because Love came down to us. To comfort us in our grief, calm us in our fears, and soothe our hurting hearts.


We don’t deserve it, didn’t earn it, but Love came down. So, now instead of constantly reaching, all we have to do is open up and receive the love of a lifetime, the love of God the Father, through Jesus Christ, the Son. The kind of love that is within your reach!


For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son,

so that everyone who believes in him

may not perish but may have eternal life.

John 3:16


This Sunday is the fourth Sunday of the Advent season. A time when we celebrate the love of Christmas and we remember the birth of our Savior, when Love came down at Christmas!


I invite you to join us for worship, as we continue the Advent Sermon Series: The Heart of Christmas. This Sunday’s message is: Love Came Down. You can worship in-person or you can also join us online at 10:00am. For online worship go to www.umcgt.org.


CDF Survey Extended! As part of the Green Trails church’s participation in the Children’s Defense Fund cohort, each congregation is being asked to complete an anonymous survey on the ministries of your church. It’s pretty simple and shouldn’t take long to complete. The surveys will be compiled by an independent company and the overall results will be compiled for the cohort. Please click the link and complete the survey at your earliest convenience. The deadline has been extended to the first week of January.

Here’s the link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/UnitedMethodistGreenTrailsCDF

If you would rather do a paper copy, you can pick one up at the Welcome Center and drop it off at the church office during business hours. This will also help us to get a finger on the pulse of our church!


Christmas Eve The weather outside may be frightful, but inside it will be so delightful as we celebrate Christmas Eve Service at 5:00pm! We will have candle lighting and celebrate Holy Communion together, singing some of our favorite Christmas carols. As usual, our Christmas Eve offering will benefit the Dondo Home, the orphanage we support in Mozambique.


Christmas Day Celebration! What a special time it is when Christmas falls on the Sabbath! I hope you will join us for this special celebration of the birth of the Newborn King! Wear your favorite Christmas sweater or something red, let the kiddos bring their favorite thing (as long as it’s not a pet!) and let’s throw a party for Jesus!


In this is love, not that we loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins.

1 John 4:10


Blessings,

Pastor Linda

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