In the midst of our broken world, what is the hope we are promised by God's Word during the Christmas season?

Dear friends,
 
You may have heard news lately of the fires in Colorado. Last year, the Colorado Springs community was shaken by the Waldo Canyon fire. We couldn’t have imagined that just shy of one year later, multiple fires would be raging across Colorado— some of them in our own backyard. As I write, several other wildfires have popped up across the state. Some are contained and almost extinguished; others are just beginning their devastation.

I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection
and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings,
becoming like Him in his death…
Philippians 3:10
 
So often when I view this verse, I get fired up about the first section on knowing Jesus and the power in His resurrection, but tend to be less than enthusiastic about the last part on sharing in His sufferings. That’s not something I want to aspire to. Do I hear a hearty “amen”?

What do your hands say about you? Do your hands transmit pain or comfort? God’s hands communicate compassion and the desire to reach out to us.

 
Leprosy in first century Israel was a cruel disease with no apparent cure. But the disfigurement of a leper’s body was only part of the pain they experienced. Jewish religious rules identified lepers as “unclean” and caused the uncaring isolation of these sick and vulnerable people.