Greetings in Christ’s name!
1st Chronicles 16:8 implores us to “Give thanks unto the Lord, call upon his name make known his deeds upon the peoples.”
Some of you have heard that on Sunday evening I was hospitalized with Covid-like symptoms. The good news is that I am negative for Covid, but we are still unsure what was causing my illness. I believe I’ll be discharged this morning and look forward to returning home. Thank you for your prayers.
In worship last Sunday, people gave thanks for the many good things in their lives. There were some of the usual thanksgivings: family, friends, employment. But there were also some words of thanks that stood out to me: a family member healed from cancer; the gift of a restored relationship; and the ability to worship whether in person or virtually during the pandemic. It struck me that so many people were so easily able to give thanks in the midst of such a disorienting and disturbing year. It made me smile behind my mask with pride and gratitude for who you are and for how God is shaping and forming you into the people God created you to be. This week even if your holiday gathering is with only a few people—or even virtual—make sure to stop and ask each person to name something for which he or she is thankful. You’ll find that giving thanks adds joy to your holiday.
The first Sunday of advent is upon us, and I’m excited for our Advent rituals to begin this Sunday. Jason and Anouk Davis’s family will light the first advent candle this week and Laurie Burkett will share her advent story. Desiree Trevino will read scripture and lead us in prayer. Josiah Brown will bring the message. And Lord willing, I’ll lead us in some Advent songs while Pam Rogers accompanies. I hope you can join us this week either virtually or in person.
Our church is helping to provide Christmas gift bags for seniors in the greater Houston area who are homebound. If you would like to help prepare some bags, please follow the instructions from our website here so you know what kinds of items to purchase. Then bring the bags to the church by Sunday, December 13th. Thank you for helping to bless others this Christmas season!
Sisters and brothers, since we stand surrounded by all those who have gone before us – a great cloud of witnesses – let us drop every extra weight and every sin that clings to us and slackens our pace, and let us run with endurance the long race set before us. Stay focused on Jesus who designed and perfected our faith. And go into the days of this week strong in the presence of the Holy Spirit and confident that God goes with you.