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“The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood” (John 1:14, The Message).

This year our CRCNA Christmas chapel focused on the theme of "God Dwelling with Us." Since we all have been confined to our neighborhoods to varying degrees during the pandemic, John 1:14 has taken on new meaning.

This past year, God has been with us in so many ways. During the chapel time, we shared via the Zoom chat function the blessings we’ve experienced in our neighborhoods, as well as our hopes and prayers for our neighborhoods.

Blessings we experienced included:

  • the laughter of little children

  • a community garden

  • donuts on doorsteps

  • neighbours joining together for foodbank drive

  • outdoor string quartet concert

  • greeting new babies and proud parents on walks

Hopes and prayers for our neighborhoods included:

  • that we would listen well and find ways to be present with our neighbors

  • prayers for marriages that are strong and bring blessings to children and others

  • prayers for those pushed to the margins of our communities

  • prayers for those lined up at the outdoor COVID testing station

  • affordable housing for struggling residents

  • physical, mental, emotional, political healing

  • see Jesus, welcome Jesus, embrace Jesus in our neighbors

While our chapel experience lasted 30 minutes, we all have daily opportunities to continue growing in the character of our “neighboring” God. So as we remember how Jesus moved into the neighborhood 2,000 years ago and as we anticipate God dwelling with us in the new heaven and new earth, let's see what the Spirit does in us and through us as we continue living into questions like these: 

  • What blessings have you experienced in your own neighborhood this year? 

  • What hopes and prayers for your neighbors are on your heart? 

  • How might you be the hands and feet of the Jesus who has moved into your neighborhood?

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