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From the Pastor: A Deeper December

Mary Ellen Ermis December 5, 2022 Devotionals, A Deeper December, Christmas at CityRise, cityrise, houston, Roger Patterson,

A Deeper December

Welcome officially to the Christmas season, Church Family! While there is heated debate whether Christmas decorations should go up before the Thanksgiving turkey is even touched, once we turn the calendar to December, we can safely say that it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

So, what does the Christmas season mean? I think most of us would agree that each year brings the same tension between (1) providing holiday fun and plenty of gifts and (2) celebrating the true meaning of Lord Jesus’ birth as Emmanuel (or Immanuel, in some translations), “God with us.” Of course, the birth of the Messiah is the most important of the two, but if we ask ourselves an honest question, how deeply do we reckon with that each December? How deep does our walk with Him go amid the festivities? How deeply do we think about the importance of God’s presence on the earth and how that impacts us even today?

Let me invite you to a different Christmas season than you might have had before. Let me invite you to A DEEPER DECEMBER.

What having a deeper December entails became more clear beginning this past weekend. As we study the gift from God to us that is His Son, Jesus, we at CityRise are providing you with a gift, a devotional entitled Deeper December, that you can use this month to go deeper in your faith . . . and then share that gift with someone else to help that person reach a depth in their walk with God they’ve never had either.

I’m really looking forward to going to deeper levels with you this month. In our services, we will be studying more about the story of Christ’s birth and how the story of that gift teaches us about other gifts God gives us, gifts that are promises of things that we need. What does that mean? Two Sundays ago, we started with the first promise, that we need His presence. Jesus is “God with us”; as John says, Jesus is “the Word [become] flesh”; and as Isaiah writes, God says “Fear not, for I am with you.” This past Sunday, we learned that we need the King.

I hope to see you in service this Sunday, on campus or online, as we study more gifts that God gives us this Christmas season.

Now, as you have heard me say before, God is the first and most generous giver. As you go through the Deeper December devotional, we want you to see the depths of God’s generosity and love toward His creation.

Our vision at CityRise is to lift our city and the world by generously giving the gospel of Jesus Christ. Not only is generosity at the heart of the gospel, it is also at the heart of our vision to lift our homes, our communities, our great city, and the world. Your generosity helps us accomplish this vision through the depth of our ministries at our three physical locations and the breadth of our ministries through our partners across the city and around the world. Your generosity truly allows us to go deep and wide.

As you embark on a deeper December, would you begin to pray about a year-end gift that will help us fully fund the vision that God has given us? You can make a gift by clicking here.

Merry Christmas!

Pastor Roger


Visit our Christmas page for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day service times across our campuses as well as more information about our many Christmas events!