This is a year of firsts for many of us here at Grace. We have several first time parents who will be celebrating Christmas this year with a newborn child. A few others are newly married, and so they will celebrate Christmas this year for the first time with a spouse. Those are both joyous and amazing firsts. Over the next few weeks we will here about hope, faith, joy and peace. God came into the world as a child, a baby in a manger. Born to set us all free through his death and resurrection. God being crucified and sacrificing himself for us, that was for sure a first. My hope this season is that as we go about our days of shopping and festivities, we would spend a great deal of time being thankful, kind, loving and caring. Make this Christmas a season of firsts for your faith. How about these firsts- I will invite someone other than a relative to Christmas Eve service. I will focus more on giving than receiving. I will share the love of Jesus Christ with everyone that I encounter through my words and deeds. I will not let the busy or hurried days stress me out and turn me into a scrooge. Be hopeful. Be faithful. And be His. Go in peace and go with God.