How Big Is Your Circle?

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Today is Thursday, December 14th

Light two purple candles.


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How many people did you come in contact with today?

Consider this quote:
“The faces we lose track of most easily are the faces of the people who are closest to us, the people we love the most whose faces we see so often that we can’t really see them anymore.” (Frederick Buechner)


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Read Matthew 22:37-40

And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” [ESV]


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Father, I want this holiday season to be filled with light instead of darkness. Please help me discard my emotional masks and be real before You as well as my family and friends. Father, help me make this holiday season an offering of praise to You. In Jesus' Name, Amen


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Personalize it. How can your thoughts and these readings and prayers help you worship fully, give more, spend less and love all.


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My name is Madison, and I'm happy to come in contact with you today.

I sit by myself and yet not alone in a coffee shop late in the afternoon. I am one mind, one world surrounded on all sides by others. The café bustles. Jazz and conversation in the background as I read today’s scripture. What hurt do these hearts carry? Do they know that the God of the universe places infinite value on their lives? The lives around me matter.

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Have I lost track of the lives of others in the midst of my own journey? Is my face so set on my own path that I forget to stop and love those around me?

Then there are those closest to me. What about them? Am I living fully and loving deeply? My family, my friends, my church family, my mentors.

How can I love them truly, intentionally?

“You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39, ESV).

If I am honest, I sway from either thinking too highly of myself to thinking too low of myself. Don’t we all live on this pendulum? So how are you and I to love others? Are we to drift here and there?

No. May our love look like that of my Savior. One who stops everything to come close to us in our deepest depravity.

“In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another” (1 John 4:10-11, ESV).

His love is steadfast and pure. He does not abandon or reject. His love saves. His love is personal.

Maybe loving others this Christmas looks like coffee with an old friend, listening to someone who is hurting, or laughing freely with new friends. Maybe loving others this Christmas means sharing your testimony—opening yourself up, taking off the mask—to share about Christ’s love in your own life.

Maybe loving others this Christmas is found in the act of stopping. Stop pretending. Stop trying so hard. Stop isolating. Start loving. Start being loved. May you live in this love today.