The Christmas season has been extra special for us this year as we have been blessed to celebrate with our whole family together on the same side of the ocean. We have enjoyed a couple of our family traditions from Kenya plus some extras that are unique to being in the States…like drinking hot chocolate while watching the tree lighting in downtown Lancaster and attending a very meaningful Christmas Eve service of music and teaching at our church.
Even so, it is important to remember why we celebrate Christmas – God became man in the form of Jesus. In the book of Isaiah, we are reminded of the prophesies about the coming of Jesus. We are also reminded of the HOPE that we have in Jesus: “Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:30-31NIV) These are powerful images…those who HOPE in the LORD will SOAR LIKE EAGLES and WILL RUN AND NOT GROW WEARY.
During our visits with churches this Fall, we have been sharing about the theme of HOPE. In a broken world where events each day lend themselves to feelings of hopelessness, Christians have a message of HOPE based firmly and securely in Jesus. In the devotional Jesus Calling by Sara Young, we are reminded that “Hope lifts your perspective from your weary feet to the glorious view you can see from the high road. You are reminded that the road we’re traveling together is ultimately a highway to heaven.”
As we head into a New Year, remember how Peter encouraged the early Christians in 1 Peter 3:15: “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” (NIV) Are you prepared to share the reason for the HOPE that you have in Jesus? How can each of us be more involved in sharing Jesus with the unreached…those who have not yet had an opportunity to hear about Jesus? Jesus is the HOPE of the nations!
Here are a few ways you can be praying for us in the days and weeks ahead:
- PRAY for Micah this week as he travels to Atlanta, Georgia with a group of young adults from our church to Passion 2020. PRAY that his heart would be ready to hear from the Lord. He will head back to Messiah College on Jan 7 to take a three-week course on Islam. PRAY also for Micah as he begins the process of looking for a good summer job…his first job other than work study at college.
- PRAY for Hannah as she will be doing some extensive traveling over the next few weeks before the start of her spring semester. PRAY for safety in travel and a fun, encouraging time with friends. PRAY for Hannah as she is seeking to find a summer internship that fits well within her major and gives her an opportunity to explore career options.
- PRAY for Rachel as she walks closely with patients and their families in her job as a social worker. PRAY that as families wrestle with difficult medical decisions, she may have opportunities to share with them the reason for the hope that she has.
- PRAY for us, that we would have wisdom and very clear direction regarding several decisions that we have been lifting before the Father. We are in a season of waiting on Him.
Our schedule for the next two months is below. We are hoping to connect with you somewhere along the way. Please let us know if we will be in your area and if we can stop by for a visit.
May you start this New Year thankful for the HOPE you have in Jesus,
Brian and Missy Wagner
Sunday, January 5: St. Matthew’s EC Church, Emmaus, PA 8:45am speaking during Worship Service 10:00 am sharing during Sunday School 11:00 am sharing during Worship Service Sunday, January 12: Bangor First United, Bangor, PA 10:30am speaking during Worship Service January 13-17 – visiting supporters/friends in Oregon January 18-22 – visiting supporters/friends in northern California Sunday, January 26: Bethel EC Church, Conestoga, PA 9:00am sharing during Sunday School 10:15am speaking during Worship Service Saturday-Sunday, February 1-2: Grace Community Church, Willow Street, PA Details to follow February 4-20: Trip down the East Coast to Florida and return…multiple stops along the way Sunday, February 23: St. David’s EC Church, Weiglestown, PA 8:00am speaking during Worship Service 10:30am speaking during Worship Service