I have five invitations and yes, challenges for all of us:
ONE. Strengthen your safe contacts with those you hold sacred in your lives—call, email, Zoom, Skype, Facebook or sitting together at the dinner table. With one another identify and lift up points of joy and celebration. Share what is good, and right, and hopeful even today.
TWO. Starting this week, call at least one other member of Mountain View that you either don’t know or don’t know very well. You can use your hard copy church directory if you have one, or you can use your Shelby access to the membership list. If you don’t have Shelby access, call or email the church office, and we will help you get set-up. What should you say? First, tell them you are calling because you care about them personally. Introduce yourself, share a little background about you, your family and your story at Mountain View. Ask then to do the same, and as they do, really listen to their story. It is important! Thank them for sharing and ask them if there is a prayer need that you can lift up for them this week.
Do this with a different member each week until January 10, which is the Baptism of our Lord. After each conversation, write a short note answering the question, “What has this conversation meant to me?” If you come across a phone number that has been disconnected or is no longer in service, let the church office know so we can see about correcting this—connection does matter!
THREE. During the season of Advent send a card, this can be a Christmas card or other card to at least one member or household you don’t know. Introduce yourself, share a bit of your story, and let them know that you are naming them in your prayers for the month of December. And then indeed, name them in your daily prayers.
FOUR. Send a card of prayer and thanks to the staff at a healthcare facility. Write that you are thankful for the care and sacrifice they are providing, and that you are praying for them, their work, the patients they are caring for and for their families. If you address the card to “Staff in ICU,” or “Staff in Pediatrics,” or “Staff in Oncology or Orthopedics,” along with the name and address of the health care facility, they will receive it, and they will hear your love.
FIVE. In this season of added distancing, use some of your distancing time to get closer to God’s Word. Remember that reading God’s Word is not about consuming volume but allowing yourself to be consumed with the story of God’s love. Take the read slowly.
—Pastor Mike Greenwalt
Photograph: https://unsplash.com/photos/s9CC2SKySJM by Green Chameleon. Public domain.