Month: November 2017

Happy Holydays

The Holy Days are upon us!  That’s right!  I wish you Happy Holydays!  I do this without shame or reservation.  The etimology of the word “Holiday” comes from the words Holy Day.  Thus, when I wish someone “Happy Holidays” I am not committing an affront, or being blasphemous.  Rather, I am connecting all of these holy days together and wishing season’s greetings for the holiday seasons: Thanksgiving, the weeks of Advent, Hanukkah, Christmas, and the New Year!

The “War on Christmas” is a tag line for certain groups to make claims that you are not being a good person of faith if you use any greeting other than “Merry Christmas” after wishing people “Happy Thanksgiving”.  As if a Starbucks cup could take the Christ out of Christmas!

The truth is that the “War on Christmas” isn’t words at all.  It is the blatant consumerism that calls people at this time of year to move away from holy days to obsess about their spending ways.  When we, as Christians, care more about giving and receiving gifts than experiencing the Holy, we miss the mark.  These things are secondary to the opportunities we have to open our hearts and experience the wonder and mystery of the season!

The key here is to keep the holidays alive after we put away the tinsel and the tree.  We are called by our faith to cerebrate holy days throughout the year!  Remember the 4th Commandment? “Remember the Sabbath and keep it Holy” (Exodus 20:8) outlines a weekly holiday that we are to observe.

So, when you hear, as you will, that those “ungodly people” are committing a war on Christmas because they say, “Happy Holidays” or “Season’s Greetings”, ask yourself if it really matters.  I submit that it doesn’t.  I am free to use whatever words I choose to express my feelings during the holidays.  I don’t buy the hype brought on by those who proclaim a religious (and sometimes secular) superiority to those who don’t choose the same words as they do at this time of year.

So…I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving, an Awesome Advent, Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays!

There!  That should cover most of it!  And not one ounce of disrespect or blasphemy!

Peace!

Gary

The greatest among you will be your servant

The drought is over.  It has been quite some time since a group from LOCC has gone to another community to serve others on a mission trip.  Next week, that will all change as a group of 10 of us will travel to Van Buren, Mo. to work on two houses in the area that were damaged by floods this Spring.

One of the great things about a trip like this is that you never know what will happen.  You have to be flexible when projects change, building materials don’t arrive as scheduled, weather issues arise, or any number of issues happen to change your plans.  Sometimes, you have to give in to the experience and drop any agenda you might have.  Jesus said it this way in Matthew 23:11:

The greatest among you will be your servant.”

A couple of weeks ago, we were recipients of an act of mission and service as 7 8th grade members of the Osage Honor Club, supervised by Lori Sallee, spent several hours working around the church.  They worked on our playground, painted a ceiling in one of the storage rooms in the chapel, and worked to remove the trimmed branches of the Oak tree by the portico entrance.  They worked hard and were truly servants to us.

We have people in our congregation who do much to keep our facilities in great shape and work diligently to serve others here as well.

Living out the Gospel in service to others is what we as Christians are to be about.  I give thanks in this season of Thanksgiving that there are folks here who are willing to put their faith into action and move beyond our walls to be servants to the world!

Peace,

Gary