Over the past two months, quite a bit has changed for several of us. I’ve continued to pray for the congregation and for individual needs as they arose. Hopefully over the next several months, you’ll hear some of what I was thinking about and studying while I was gone. There’s too much to share all at once, but I do want to catch you up on a couple of things that happened while I was away. I always encourage us to seek God’s direction, because he is the one who knows what we can’t, and so to ask him to guide our steps as followers of Christ is crucial.
First, I had mentioned my cataracts and how bad my eyes had gotten before I left. During my time away, they have gotten much worse. My doctor had said that if I didn’t have something done, he thought I wouldn’t be able to drive by the end of the year, and I think he’s right. Already I can’t drive after dark, and it’s getting more difficult for me to drive during the day. We scheduled my surgeries for the earliest available, and so I will have my cataract surgery on my right eye this Wednesday. Because of the current Covid protocol of the surgery center, I had a Covid test on Saturday and am now in isolation until my surgery on Wednesday. So, I’m currently writing this from my basement! Even though tomorrow (December 1) is my official first day back, it will be at least Thursday afternoon until I can get out to the office. What you need to know, is that I’ll have to repeat this whole procedure in two weeks for my left eye. I would really appreciate prayers for these surgeries. I know some of you have had them, and they are relatively routine, but it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t make me nervous.
Secondly, the timing of my stay in Kentucky was very good for Josanne. My having a separate place to stay in Eastern Kentucky for a couple of months gave her the opportunity to get a break from the care she’s extending to her Dad. We have thoroughly enjoyed spending some time together that we hadn’t been able to previously.
So, in the spirit of extended Thanksgiving, let me share a few things I’m thankful for. I’m thankful for Doug Hicks who was able to step in for the past 9 weeks and do such a wonderful job. I’m also thankful for those who were able to handle the technology and service planning that I had been doing since March. Though I understand there have been a few glitches, I hope that we all recognize the amount of effort that has gone into continuing our connection as a congregation. While I have been away, I have been reminded of those things that are most important for us as a family of Christ-followers. I’m thankful for the Church Board who encourage me to take some time away—it was just the right timing. I’m thankful for all of you who have been understanding and flexible in a difficult time in so many ways.
So our attention turns now to Advent. The decorations I saw in the live-stream from yesterday are beautiful. Remember Advent is about a period of waiting and expectation. Has there ever been a year within our lifetimes, at least, when this theme fit more closely with our own experiences? So like Israel of old, we look at a world that isn’t as we’d like it to be, but we wait in hope—confident expectation—that when our Messiah comes all will be made well.
I look forward to reconnecting and catching up with you. After tomorrow, give me a call, text, or email if you’d like to talk.
God bless, Brian
Scriptures for next week:
Isaiah 40:1-11—How does the expectation of Advent connect with the idea of longing for forgiveness? Psalm 85—Think about the images of forgiveness in this psalm. Which resonate with you the most? 2 Peter 3:8-18—What does this Scripture teach you about forgiveness? Mark 1:1-8—Why do you think that Mark begins his gospel with a quotation from Isaiah 40?