“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints. . .” (Ephesians 1:18)

Most of us love the holiday season, and especially Christmas. But the weeks leading up to it are often the busiest and most demanding of the year. We usually begin the season with joyful anticipation of the birth of a baby in a manger, but as the holiday draws nearer, we are overwhelmed by preparations and expectations.

Shopping for gifts, preparing meals, organizing, and attending events, and hosting family and friends can make Christmas feel more like a season of chaos than cheer, of pressure rather than peace.

If we are not careful, our focus quickly shifts from Jesus to everything around us calling our attention from the real ‘reason for the season.” We become selfish rather than selfless; filled with worry rather than wonder. So how can this year be different? What will help us hold on to joy amid all this Christmas chaos?

We need to remember that true joy is found in Jesus alone – at Christmastime and all times. Jesus is the only one who can fully satisfy—He is the only one who will never disappoint. And he has come to us! He has come – God in the flesh – to dwell among us. He has come to deal with our sin and to reconcile us to the Father. My joy doesn’t rest in the perfect Christmas Day, but in the Emmanuel – God with us.

This is the joy that can sustain us – not just through the holiday season, but in every season of lives. And this is the joy that the entire world longs for. How many have tried and failed in this endeavor? —The 12 disciples did many times. The apostle Paul was spiritually blinded, before the Lord opened his eyes so he could truly see. Join us this week at Sedona United Methodist Church as Rev. Fred Mast offers a message entitled, “Open My Eyes, So I Can See”.

Sunday mornings we enter the spirit of worship at 9:30 a.m. featuring meaningful times of prayer, joyous music, and life messages that will help move you closer in your relationship with Jesus Christ. Our worship is upbeat and lively, and spirit filled! Immediately following worship, you are encouraged and invited to stay after worship and join us in our Fellowship Hall for the friendliest and best fellowship time anywhere!

We invite the entire community to come to our “Annual Holiday Boutique” THIS Saturday November 12th from 9AM to 3PM. This year’s sale will be in our parking lot with many craft & gift vendors. We will have a food truck on-site with a great selection of food. This will be a great opportunity to do some early holiday shopping and get some great gifts. Come and enter the spirit of the holidays!

We offer several weekly book and bible studies: Tuesday’s join us @ 1:30 pm for a bible study at The Gathering Place in West Sedona; and Thursday’s Women’s Bible Study at 9:45am. So many great missions, ministries, and fellowship opportunities at Sedona UMC—Call our office for additional details.

Visit our website at www.sedonaumc.org  and “Like” us on Facebook. We are conveniently located at 110 Indian Cliffs Road off the Back O’Beyond roundabout on Route 179 in Sedona. All are welcome at Sedona United Methodist—Come and join this growing faith family! Invite, pick-up, and bring your friends and family.