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  • Pastor Linda Settles

Unwrapped

One Christmas I unwrapped a gift and inside was a pitcher. Not just any pitcher, but an infuser pitcher. I know, sounds fancy right? The difference between this pitcher & the average, ordinary pitcher is what's inside (that'll preach!).


This pitcher has an empty cylinder in the middle with a little container that slides in & out. You can put fruit in the container, slide it into the

pitcher, add water or your favorite beverage, and voila! - the flavor of the fruit "infuses" the liquid in the pitcher! The liquid takes on the "flavor" of the fruit.


When we unwrap the gift of Christ, when we receive Him into our lives, His Spirit infuses us, fills us, permeates us, to the point that we take on His "flavor!" We're infused by the Holy Spirit.


"For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those

who are being saved and those who are perishing."

2 Corinthians 2:15


The Message translation makes it even clearer...


"Through us, He [God] brings knowledge of Christ. Everywhere we go, people breathe in the exquisite fragrance. Because of Christ, we give off a sweet scent rising to God..."


The more time we spend in the Lord's presence, the more we "smell" like Him. Then everywhere we go, the world will breathe Him in - and the smell of this fresh Bread of Life will draw others to Him, bringing hope to the world! That's Christmas!


"Christ in you, the hope of glory."

Colossians 1:27


This Sunday is the fourth Sunday of Advent. Throughout this season, we have been in anticipation mode, anticipating the celebration of the Savior’s birth. This Sunday, join us for the culmination, a celebration of Christmas wrapped up in a special worship experience, Voices of Wonder, an amazing cantata directed by Dr. Jeffrey Heyl, Director of Music, with narratives written by Lea Doyel. There will be guest artists in song and instrument, our fabulous music ministry, and an interactive Christmas message! It will be a time of song, Scripture, and Word. What a birthday party! And of course, there will be gifts! Worship with us online this Sunday at 10:00am, at www.umcgt.org, or via phone by calling 562-314-1212, as we hear the story of Emmanuel, God is with us!


Weather permitting, we will have a brief time of outdoor worship on Christmas Eve! A time of candlelighting, Holy Communion, and Silent Night singing at 5pm. Stay tuned for updates and pray for good weather!


Don’t forget to unwrap your Christmas gift from the church, an invitation to RightNow Media, the Christian “Netflix” app that gives you access to thousands of Bible studies! If you don’t have the email invitation, click on this link and create your very own account: https://www.rightnowmedia.org/Account/Invite/umcgt. And feel free to invite family and friends by sharing the link with them. The blessings abound! I know that you are going to find great content to grow your faith and increase your joy.


I want to thank you for your continued giving to the church through a most difficult year. Some of you have faced financial difficulties of your own, yet you still find ways to give! For that we give thanks. And we are continuing to receive donations to the Dondo Orphanage in Mozambique, whose budget is primarily supported by Green Trails Church. We still have a way to go to meet last year’s budget. We are their primary source of funding, so if you would like to contribute, it would be so appreciated.


And speaking of the receiving and giving of gifts, Ms. Ada May, a faithful member who passed several months ago, has remembered her Lord and her church in her will. The church has received a donation from her estate, which will allow us to continue to do mission in our community and beyond!


This is the season of giving! So, this Advent, may you unwrap the gift of Christ, and be INFUSED by the love of the Savior, who was given for you!


Blessings,

Pastor Linda

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