Here it is … it’s almost Christmas again! It doesn’t seem possible another year has passed since I last wrote to you a Christmas greeting and year-end letter. As we enter this holy time of year, please accept the wishes from the entire Maier family for a joy-filled Advent and Christmas season. May the Holy Spirit be in and through you daily as you rejoice in, and celebrate, the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
If this letter was a sermon, I would title it simply, Connecting the Dots. I understand it may not have a traditional Christmas sound to it, but as you continue to read, I pray the importance of this theme becomes apparent.
The society we live in today is changing rapidly. Everything—from technology, to attitudes about church, parenting, marriage, and gender identification, just to mention a few—is changing at a rapid pace. Yet, here we are in the midst of this as people of faith, living our lives as servants of Christ, doing what we can to be a bright light in a darkening world.
Is this a challenge? You bet it is, but we dare not stop working for the glory of God. “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased” (Luke 2:14).
What is it that keeps us going?
The answer is much simpler than you may think. Our faith in Jesus Christ is the dot that we are connected to that makes everything else in our lives possible. Through our relationship with Jesus, all the other dots that we are, and need to be connected to, are possible.
Have you ever stopped to think how many dots we are all connected to? Church, family, occupation, community, and the multitude of dots within each one of these. Just take family, for example, and think about the perhaps hundreds of dots that are connected through our family relationships.
This begs the next question: What happens to those who are not connected to Jesus? Again, the answer is simple—they will never experience eternal life with Him. As sad as this may be to hear, we know that there is still hope for each and every person who does not yet know Jesus as Lord and Savior.
That is why it is our responsibility as followers of Christ to open the door, to connect the dots for them, and then let the Holy Spirit change their hearts. We in the Michigan District are People of Hope. You are reading this letter because you are a person of hope, and I thank God that you are.
I also thank God for our Acts 2 Enterprise (A2E) ministries in Detroit, Flint, Pontiac, and Benton Harbor. They, too, are filled with People of Hope working tirelessly each day to connect those they serve to the eternal, life-giving Jesus. Pastor Bodley, Pastor Yops, Pastor Trinklein, and Pastor Roth are all men of great hope connecting the dots in their communities so children and families will have even their most basic needs for food and clothing met.
But it doesn’t stop there.
They will also assist families overcome other major obstacles in their daily journeys through life, such as job training and employment, literacy and computer skills training, legal issues, health services, and social services, among many others. The four Sports Camps/VBS programs this past summer alone touched hundreds of children’s lives.
But the most important aspect of A2E by far is “the dot” with which they connect those they serve to the Lord Jesus. A dot that, when connected, leads to baptisms, confirmations, marriages and, most importantly, eternal life—the greatest of all gifts that comes through Jesus Himself.
It is for this reason I am asking you to personally support this vital A2E urban ministry through your generous gift this Christmas season. Your gift will not only help the hundreds of people served through A2E by making positive changes in their lives today, but it may very well help them eternally.
Please prayerfully consider what you can give financially to help make a difference, and help our A2E pastors and staff in their efforts to connect the final dot … the one to Jesus. Thank you in advance for helping to change a life today, tomorrow, and eternally.
A blessed Christmas to you and yours,
Rev. Dr. David P. E. Maier
President, Michigan District, LCMS
P.S. Your gift to A2E, an Innovative Missional Ministry supported by the Here We Stand campaign, will receive a 10% match through the generosity of the Michigan District Church Extension Fund. Thank you.