Waiting for Christmas

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In this season of waiting and watching, we prepare our hearts for the coming of Jesus Christ. 

Waiting is not easy. In our society of instant gratification, patience is not a cultivated virtue. We may want to get all the things we want immediately, and have all the questions answered in our expected time. Yet in the patience of waiting, we are reminded of the faithfulness and promise of our Lord. It is not that we are the one who can manipulate the world to fit our expectations and needs. It is waiting in faith and hope for the coming of the Promised One that our spiritual strength and trust are developed, our relationship with God will be deepened. 

In the waiting, we come to realize what is most important in life. Without knowing the ultimate source of life and the generous giving of our God, we may not anticipate the right things for our life.  Perhaps you have a long shopping list and many demands from family and friends for this Christmas. Christmas is a time to rejoice in giving and receiving. It is the promise of God fulfilled in the coming of the Christ - God is with Us. When you have Christ in your life, you will lack nothing. Just remember Jesus Christ is the greatest gift we can anticipate. He is the Truth, the Way, and the Life. Seek him first, all else you need will be given to you. Christ is the center of Christmas. It is His coming we are waiting for. 

“In him was life, and that life was the light of men.”-John 1:4  
May our experience of Jesus Christ’s presence strengthen our faith and warm up our heart, and light up all the corner of this world. 

Emmanuel! 

Rev. Dr. Huibing He

What Can We Do To Help?

Dear Friends,

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This past Monday was the 16th anniversary of 9/11. On that quiet Monday morning, I was sitting about a mile away from the Freedom Tower. My mind was preoccupied by the memories of that heart-breaking event which took place 16 years ago in our city. My heart was compelled to pray for God’s forgiveness, healing and peace.

Thus far, it has been another heart wrenching year. Two weeks ago, Hurricane Harvey pummeled a number of cities in Texas. Within the last week, Hurricane Irma slammed Florida after causing untold devastation throughout the Caribbean islands. These natural disasters have caused thousands and thousands of people to lose their homes and any sense of normalcy in their lives.  630,000 people were evacuated from their residences and now have no idea how long it will take to return to a normal life. Seeing the all-powerful Mother Nature cause the loss of human life and destruction in the environment, we feel powerless and out of control. Although we realize our vulnerability, we know that God is still in control.  

As a Christian community, we believe God’s redeeming grace through His people's acts of kindness and compassion can help to bring relief and healing to the world. You may wonder and ask yourself “what can we do to help?” 

Our Bishop, Thomas Bickerton, the New York Conference Episcopal Leader, has called upon the local churches to support the relief efforts in the following ways:

1)    Pray

2)    Donate online via https://cumc.nyc/giving (please reference “Harvey Relief”):

a.    100% of the donations will go directly to the relief projects
b.    Funds will also support Early Response Teams with their travel and supplies

3)    Assemble clean-up buckets and health kits 

We, as the faith community, will continue to pray for those who were hurt and/or otherwise impacted by Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma. We will do our best to support the volunteer teams. If needed, we might join the volunteer teams to go help the various areas in their recovery efforts. It will be a long-term task. But we know God is in this work as well. As we pray and make donations, we represent the love and compassion of Jesus Christ to those who are suffering and experiencing loss due to these recent natural disasters. 
 
If you have questions, please feel free to reach out to me at rev.he@cumc.nyc.

Blessings,
Rev. Huibing He
 

An Easter Letter

Dear friends,

At this time of the year, the signs of life awakening are visible everywhere. The budding blossoms are waiting to burst forth. Children are playing outdoors. The snow has melted.  There is a warm breeze blowing.  Why exercise indoors? We can walk or run outdoors.  Winter is gone! Welcome back, spring!
In the Gospel, John speaks about the power of our God. “Through Him all thing are made" (John 1:3). "In Him was life, and that life was the light of men" (John 1:4). Jesus is the resurrection and the life.

Today is Good Friday, the darkest day in the history of earth, when Jesus, the Son of God, was crucified, died on the cross, and entombed. Jesus did not stay there. Jesus Christ came to pay the penalty for our sins and walked out of the tomb alive. From Good Friday to Easter Sunday; from the crucifixion to the resurrection, there is a journey for us to experience. 

As human beings, we are all in some kind of spiritual darkness and spiritual death before we encounter the life and light of Jesus Christ. We may be entombed and imprisoned by the struggles in our lives. We may be imprisoned by our ambitions, tempted by the world's view of value and fortune, or challenged with a physical ailment. We may be struggling due to the spiritual gap between us and our Creator. We may be searching for meaning and significance in life, hope for healing, and waiting for the opportunity for the renewal of life. Easter Sunday reminds us that we can live in the light of Jesus' resurrection and renewal of this world, and of ourselves.

As I am writing this note, a friend of mine is recovering from a major heart surgery.  Prior to the surgery, the doctors notified the family that there was a 10% chance he might die during surgery. He and his family were understandably very anxious. They asked me to pray for him. I just got a phone call from his daughter that the surgery was successful and he is recovering at the hospital. They are very thankful to God for His healing hands.  Praise God! 

This Easter Sunday, come join us at 1:30 pm.  Let's celebrate Jesus' Resurrection and meet the risen Lord in worship together. As we listen to the story of Jesus on this day, we will share our own resurrection stories.

Come by!  I hope to see you on Easter Sunday!   

Blessings, 
Rev. Huibing He

Intro

Dear friends,

Welcome to my blog! I will use this space to share with you my thoughts and experiences from time to time. Let's journey together in the joys and challenges of life. I am available anytime you need to speak with me. Being in touch with people is a channel for me to get to know you. Come by our church any Sunday so we can chat in person. I hope to  see you soon. 

Blessings,
Rev. Huibing He