When thinking about the holidays, our initial thoughts are often of joy and warm feelings. Time with family and friends and moments to reflect on the person of Jesus Christ naturally bring about peace. However, sometimes we may fail to recognize that many do not consider the holiday season a time of hope and rest if they struggle to meet physical needs of both themselves and their families.
“The future of the world depends on the average believer being able to proclaim the message of the Gospel,” said John Meador during his Monday morning workshop at the 2017 Texas Baptists Annual Meeting.
Advent is upon us. Candles burn in Sunday services, Christmas tree lights twinkle, and even a chilly breeze settles in my corner of Texas. Advent is a time set aside to remember and expect our King as He enters into human suffering. The season exemplifies joy and waiting as we celebrate the birth of our Savior. And yet, the excitement of Advent seems like a stark contrast in light of so much pain and darkness in our present society. Everything in our culture seems to breathe a wearied and weathered sigh. The news continues to portray stories of suffering and conflict, such as sexual harassments, shootings, and uncertainty for DACA recipients and refugees. We mourn the pain of the world and in the same breath we rejoice for the hope the Lord gives. During these few weeks leading up to Christmas, Christians have the opportunity to understand the magnitude of who our King is and worship Him with our whole hearts. He is the God who came into humanity and experienced suffering in order to bring freedom. Jesus is the ultimate bridge builder between God and humanity.
As the head of a 21-member household and pastor of a small, South Sudanese congregation in Bidi Bidi, Uganda, the largest refugee settlement in the world, Jeremy* faces many challenges.
One hurricane, one faith and one website was all it took to unite First Baptist Church of Grand Prairie and Trinity Baptist Church of Aransas Pass.
After Hurricane Harvey hit the Texas coast, “we immediately … spent time in our worship service praying for our brothers and sisters,” said Dr. Bill Skaar, pastor of First Baptist Church of Grand Prairie.