Month: December 2017

Jesus is still there

As we celebrate Advent and move into Christmas, we hopefully are made more aware of the presence of God in our lives.  We are called to be inspired by the stories, once again, to seek the hope, peace, joy, and love which come from our experience of the manger.   Next month, regular time can take over the progress we have made toward becoming a more hopeful, peaceful, joyful, and loving people.

We light the candle of Christ on Christmas Eve and for awhile, that light which punches holes in the darkness of our world shines brightly for us.  Many times we let that flame only burn for a little while.  Life seems to take over and our focus shifts.

But Jesus is still there…pointing us to a life that is fulfilling and sustaining throughout the year.  Long after the trees are put away and the holiday hustle and bustle gives way to regular time hustle and bustle, we are still called to be bearers of the “Light of the World”.

This poem reminds me that we never finish our work together.  God calls us all to continue the work of Christ in the world!

“When the Song of the Angels Is Stilled”

When the song of the angels is stilled,

When the star in the sky is gone,

When the kings and the princes are home,

When the shepherds are back with their flocks,

The work of Christmas begins:

To find the lost,

To heal the broken,

To feed the hungry,

To release the prisoner,

To rebuild the nations,

To bring peace among people,

To make music in the heart.

                  -Howard Thurman

May you know the hope, peace, joy, and love of Christmas more fully this year than you ever have before!  Take time to enjoy the season!  Rest and relax!  You deserve it!  But remember…After all of our celebrations and relaxation, we have work to do.  When we all go back to regular time, that’s when Christmas really begins!

Merry Christmas!

Gary

The Experience of the Season

There are many things happening at the church this time of year!  Advent worship leads to Christmas.  Christmas leads to New Years, and we pack away the holidays.  We can sometimes forget to experience the mystery and wonder of the season.

We have decorated the church, lit the candle of hope, and are well on our way to celebrate peace this Sunday.  For the first time in several years, we will have a float in the Lake Ozark Christmas Parade.  Our children and their leaders are working on their Christmas play.  The choir is working on their cantata.  We anticipate the arrival of the babe once again.

In the midst of all that preparation, other ministries are happening.  Our angel tree participants are busy shopping for the children on their lists.  Money is being raised to provide food vouchers for their families.  Once again, we are providing gifts and vouchers for food for the teen parent program at School of the Osage.  We are also busy with calls for help that are met through our benevolence fund.

In all of this busyness and preparation, I am reminded to take time to focus on the depth of the experience of the season.  To take time to breathe.  I also am mindful of the many people at this time of year who experience loneliness, isolation, and even depression.

Our task at this time of year is to proclaim the light of God’s reign punching holes in the darkness of our world.  Once again, we focus on hope, peace, joy, and love in a spirit of giving that we seem to put away after Christmas.

I hope you will be part of this time with us!  It is a time where the ordinary becomes extraordinary and we once again relive the mystery and wonder of the story. It is a story of hope, peace, joy, and love.  And we all can use a little more of all these things in our lives!

Be a light!

Gary