As you awake this morning, you awake to a longer day. The night that has now passed was the night of the winter solstice, the longest night of the year. We’ve made it through the night in which the darkness lingers the longest and now awake to a longer day.
That’s a hopeful thought, isn’t it? As we come to the end of this year in particular, that’s a hopeful thought. The year 2020 — a year dominated by COVID-tide — has been a long year, a year in which the darkness and difficulty of a global pandemic has lingered far longer than any of us expected.
Yet in the midst of that darkness, you have continued to shine a powerful light. You have met critical needs, reached out with compassion, and offered enduring hope. As Christians, we follow the One who calls us to be the light of the world (Matthew 5:14). By giving of your time, your resources, and your very selves, you have lived into that call. You have been the light.
I want to thank you, Wesley Church, for the many ways you have given of yourselves throughout this challenging year — in particular, for the ways you have given of your financial resources. Every gift matters. Every gift has made a difference. Your gifts have helped us overcome so many of the challenges of COVID-tide, enabling us to continue vital ministries and develop new ones, too.
Through your gifts, we have maintained connections with our youth and children through online Sunday School classes, Zoom youth group gatherings, virtual fellowship events, drive-through celebrations, and VBS-in-a-Bag. We have addressed local hunger needs by offering meals through the Bethlehem Emergency Shelter and our own drive-through holiday meal ministry, by offering non-perishables through our regular food drives, and by offering fresh produce (to the tune of more than six hundred pounds!) through our Wesley Community Garden. We have transformed our annual Backpack Festival into a socially-distant drive-through event and have distributed personal protective equipment (in addition to the usual furniture and housewares) through the Lehigh Valley Outreach Depot. We have extended remote care to those who are hospitalized, and have offered both remote and in-person care (with proper distancing, of course) to those who are isolated or grieving. We have deepened our faith while maintaining social distancing through online prayer groups, email devotionals, hybrid Bible studies, virtual music rehearsals, outdoor communion services, and livestream worship services.
None of this would have been possible without the commitment of our church leaders, the creativity of our church staff, and the financial gifts of our church community. So thank you, church! Thank you for giving. Thank you for shining a light in the darkness of COVID-tide. Thank you for maintaining your commitment to Wesley Church. Thank you for investing in the work that God is doing here. In the midst of this pandemic, that work is more vital than ever.
We hope you’ll continue to support that work in the new year. Perhaps you’ll even consider making a special end-of-year gift to support the vital life-giving ministries of Wesley Church. To make an online gift, visit our website (www.wesleychurch.com), click on the red “Give Today” button, and use the secure page to set up your one-time or recurring donation. To make a gift by mail, simply send us a check (made payable to Wesley Church) at 2540 Center Street. There is great power in any and every gift!
In the words of the Christmas hymn “In the Bleak Midwinter,” we read:
What can I give him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb.
If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
Yet what I can, I give him: give my heart.
The words of this hymn remind us that we all have something special, meaningful, and powerful to offer to God. In thanks for the ways that you have offered your gifts to God’s work at Wesley Church during this long and challenging year, I offer you this gift — a virtual offering of that very hymn verse, sung by the students of my husband’s select choir.
My Gift – https://youtu.be/6aqbShmZYzg
May this offering be a blessing to you… and may it inspire all of us, once more, to offer our very hearts to God.
… and remember:
Our God is bigger than coronavirus.
Our vision is bigger than coronavirus, too.
We are people blessing people.
We are Wesley Church.
Want to know more?
- Learn about our church and its ministries: https://wesleychurch.com/
- Make a gift to support our mission: https://wesleychurch.com/giving-2/
- View our recent messages: https://wesleychurch.com/sermon-message-on-video/
- View previous devotionals: https://wesleychurch.com/pastor-candys-devotionals-2/