Love is All We Need

What's happening in the life of GUV;

- Saturday 15th December 5.00pm to 8.00pm GUVyouth Christmas Dinner.
- Please note there is no GUVyouth on Friday 14th December.
    We ask that people please pray for the teams and for the youth that attend.

Guvkids Christmas Party
- Sunday 16th December.  The children will be having their party during our church service at both campuses, plus the children at Monkston will be hand delivering Christmas gifts to a residential care home in Kents Hill.  More information will be given at the beginning of the service.

Christmas Events
- Sunday 23rd December - 3pm onwards - The Cruck Barn, Bradwell Abbey, MK13 9AP - Nativity and Carols by Candlelight (Joint Service)
- Tuesday 25th December - 10am to 11am - Netherfield Chapel - Christmas Day Service (Joint Service)

No Services on the morning of Sunday December 23rd and 30th
-We look forward to seeing the children of GUV perform our first joint campus Nativity.  Please come along, bring grandparents plus friends and enjoy this special service.  We will be providing festive finger foods plus mince pies following the Nativity and then singing favourite carols by candlelight.  It would be appreciated if you could sign up to this event via ChurchSuite, or drop an email into the office to confirm your attendance.
- We encourage everyone to rest on the 30th. We'll be back to usual on Sunday 6th January 2019.

Love is All We Need

Dear Church,

This week, as I was preparing for our office weekly devotion, I struggled to find a topic or anything that had really been on my mind.  Thankfully, there have been no major dramas and things have been ticking along nicely as they should.  It's almost easier to write a devotional when there is an "episode" as it's often in difficult times that we turn to God the most.

At this time of year, I find myself thinking of all the business that goes on, the organising that takes place, the packing of children's school bags each morning to ensure they have the right equipment/costumes for school activities, making sure they have lunches, and the removal of old newsletters and the many Christmas cards from the previous day.  Once I know they have all the right baggage, have had breakfast and have their lunches in their bags, I can happily send them off to school in the knowledge that they have everything they need and their day will be productive.

It struck me that I have to apply similar principles of preparation and organisation to my faith.  I desire to be close to God the Father and strengthen my faith, but I can't just leave this to happen without working on it.  I have to make preparations.  I have to set aside time to pray.  I have to give over all the excess baggage of whatever is going on around me and distracting me.  The bible tells us in 1 Peter 5:7 to "cast all our anxieties on him, because he cares for us".  I have to feed my faith.  Reading the bible, meditating on it, going to church and being surrounded some of the time by Godly people, who can provide wisdom where needed and answer questions.

I think that these principles of organisation apply at this busy time of year more than ever.  Chris spoke yesterday on humility, and how God doesn't take notice of the successes we've made of ourselves, such as how big our houses are, how high our salaries, what model of car we drive etc.  It's easy to get caught up in the Christmas hype and pressure put on us by marketing and to feel inadequate when we don't always have the means to succumb to the "you must have it or your Christmas will be rubbish" mantra.  That's just nonsense.  As I was thinking about this yesterday, I came across an adaptation of 1 Corinthians 13, by Sharon Jaynes with a Christmas theme:

If I decorate my house perfectly with lovely plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights, and shiny glass balls, but do not show love to my family, I'm just another decorator.

If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals, and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime, but do not show love to my family, I'm just another cook.

If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home, and give all that I have to charity, but do not show love to my family, it profits me nothing.

If I trim the tree with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties, and sing in the choirs cantata but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.

Love stops the cooking to hug the child.
Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the husband.
Love is kind, though harried and tired.
Love doesn't envy another home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.
Love doesn't yell at the kids to get out of your way.
Love doesn't give only to those who are able to give in return, but rejoices in giving to those who can't.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things.
Love never fails.  Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust.  But giving the gift of love will endure.

Have a wonderful week, full of love.

Rachel Kleinsmith