I just read this and HAD to re-post it on my blog for those of you who might really appreciate it.
This is not my writing, but that of…
Bishop Donald Hilliard, Jr. is the Pastor of one church in three locations in New Jersey: Cathedral International in Perth Amboy, Cathedral Assembly by the Shore in Asbury Park, and Cathedral Assembly in the Fields in Plainfield. Dr. Hilliard's willingness to say "YES" to the Lord fostered his ability to grow the church from 125 in 1983 to well over 5,000 members today. As a result of Dr. Hilliard's unwavering faith, multifaceted mindset, and ability to trust in the Lord, over fifty ministries are at work within the three cities.
The Word Became Flesh and Moved Into the Neighborhood
Bishop Donald Hilliard
Among the Christmas Eve congregation at 5th Avenue Presbyterian Church was a recovering alcoholic named Jim. It was his first Christmas alone, and when a young family sat down beside him he couldn't handle it. Leaving the church he met Pastor Thomas Tewell who asked where he was going. "Out for a drink," he replied.
Knowing Jim's history, Tewell said, "You can't. Where's your sponsor?" "On vacation," he replied. "I came tonight needing a word of hope and ended up sitting beside this family. If I had my life together, I'd be here with mine."
As the pastor walked to the pulpit he prayed, "God, give me a word of hope for Jim." Then after welcoming the congregation he said, "I have a request. If anyone here is a friend of Bill W.'s, and if you are you'll know it, please meet me in the vestry. (Bill Wilson, better known as Bill W., co-founded Alcoholics Anonymous)
Immediately people from all over the congregation began to respond. Dr. Tewell says, "While I was busy preaching about the Incarnation, the Word was becoming flesh before my eyes!"
As you celebrate Jesus' birth, remember that many around you are hurting; they've lost hope. Don't forget, "The Word became flesh" only because Jesus went out of His way to redeem sinners, lift the fallen, encourage the despairing, and minister to the sick, the lonely and the forgotten.
He said, "In as much as you've done it unto the least...of these...you've done it unto me" (See Mt 25:40). So instead of keeping to yourself this year, reach out to others - go ahead, make it your best Christmas ever!