I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving. It’s good for us to pause and to think about the things that we are grateful for. During the worship time yesterday, I mentioned that even in difficult times or times of loss we are still thankful for the blessings that we have. The reality of our tears doesn’t keep us from seeing the way that God has blessed us.
As a part of the sermon I read Abraham Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Declaration which made Thanksgiving a national holiday. You can read the whole text here. He made this proclamation in 1863. It’s interesting that Lincoln called the people of our nation to be thankful when we were embroiled in the midst of the Civil War. It demonstrates to me the point that even though everything isn’t the way we might hope it would be that there are still things in our life to be thankful for. Sometimes focusing on these can help us as we bear the grief of the other things in our life.
Last night was Hanging of the Greens. It’s always a joy to spend time together as we decorate the church building for Advent. It’s a good way to mark the beginning of the Christmas season. Thanks so much to all of those who prepared the way, and all of those who helped with decorating. Thanks also to those who provided the food! It was a great time.
Starting on Sunday we will be recognizing the Advent season as we look forward to the celebration of Jesus’ birth. Our Advent sermon series this year is “The Old Familiar Carols.” We will look at four different traditional Christmas carols (I’m sneaking a fifth one in on January 30th!) and the Biblical meaning of their lyrics. I’m really looking forward to sharing about the lyrics of these familiar carols and the Biblical texts from which their authors drew inspiration. We will begin this Sunday with “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.” This is an old, old carol. Do you know what language it was originally written in?
What are some of your favorite carols? What are some of the traditions of Christmas you look forward to?
God bless you all as we start this Advent series.