Breathe in this good news of great joy! Take a deep breath.

For you….yes, YOU, Jesus was born. A savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord.

The light shines in the darkness and the darkness does not overcome it.

Keep breathing, in praise to our God who makes all things new this Christmas season.

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But when the fulfillment of the time came, God sent his Son, born through a woman, and born under the Law. This was so he could redeem those under the Law so that we could be adopted. Because you are sons and daughters, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba, Father!” Therefore, you are no longer a slave but a son or daughter, and if you are his child, then you are also an heir through God.

Galatians 4:4-7

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The Spirit that God pours into all our hearts is a Spirit of compassion. It is that compassion that gives us our meaning and purpose in this life.

Many years ago, I realized that the first thing my family heard in the morning was the barking of orders, chore’s thrown at them, logistics for the day, and an occasional critique of an outfit.

Now I do my best to start each day with a compliment and words of adoration for them because I love them dearly. I don’t know what your day looks like, but I think we all need some love after 2020.

So, as you take a deep breath of 2021, know you are loved. Truly.

We don’t know each other, but we are bound together as the body of Christ, making us family.

We are defined by God’s love, so I hope that this the very first thing you heard this morning.

You are loved.

You have meaning and purpose in this life.

It is a new year. 2021! Thanks be to God!

Michelle Thomas-Bush

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Holy God, you know I want to be present for all that 2021 brings, the good and the bad. But if I am honest, mostly the good.

So help me be here. Fully present. God, keep me planted in the moment to savor all of life. Push aside the thoughts, worries, plans, and ideas that swirl around in my head.

Open my eyes to my neighbor. May we offer each other compassion even if we have to dig deep to get there.

Thank you, God, for a new year.

Help me claim the joy, the life, and the love all around me instead of just living in the future possibility of what might be. Amen.

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Take a deep breath and be present every moment of every day of 2021.

Love with intention. Be the Church.

Practice radical hospitality. Celebrate others.

May the grace of God fill your days so that you cannot help but respond to all of life with exuberant joy!

Michelle Thomas-Bush

Michelle Thomas-Bush is the associate pastor for youth and their families at Myers Park Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, NC. Michelle has two teenagers and a husband that have kept her laughing during these strange COVID-days.

Sing We Now of Christmas

Nathan Hanson

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