Happening Now Blog

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Pastor's Wednesday Messages

from Pastor Brian

I wonder if God loves us like little kids love us.  I was leading chapel this morning for Kids of the Kingdom.  One song had us "running for the Lord."  While we ran in place, one of the kids gazed at me, engaging me with her eyes, her face radiant with joy that bordered on ecstasy.  That's when the notion dawned: maybe God loves like this little girl loves in totally open, playful joy: no guile, no shadow of anxiety, no holding back — simply sheer delight.  I'd like to think that God delights in each of us as much as some Kids of the Kingdom delight in me when we sing godly songs and share a Bible message during Wednesday morning chapel.

I'm honest enough to know that the love I get from Kids of the Kingdom has nothing to do with me.  The same love would go to any adult who treats them with kindness, respect, and open-heartedness.  The love and happiness that flow from the children is a God-given gift nurtured by caring adults.  When I'm the object of their attention, the love and delight that shine on me have little to do with my worthiness or merit.  I get better than I deserve!  Their love is poured out freely from their hearts, and totally gracious.  I experience the grace of God in the gracious acceptance I get from Kids of the Kingdom.

Today KoK gave me gifts of appreciation.  A big tag-board card from the four-year olds scrawled with their names and best Christmas wishes; from the fives, a Christmas card of green construction paper with a holiday tree on the front and blessings inside; and from all the kids and teachers, a wreath of evergreen sprigs topped with a construction paper candle.  I felt blessed to get them.  But best of all is the gift of ongoing relationship with KoK, which is what these other gifts promise.  May all your Christmas gifts be like that: a pledge of ongoing community with God and with all those people in your life through whom you receive the priceless blessing of God's guileless love and sheer delight.

* * * * * * *

From Pastor Randy

"Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young at your altars O Lord of hosts, my King and my God".  Psalm 84:3

Even in this seemingly barren season there is still much that bears witness to the richness of life. As the trees reach their inky fingers upward, now bereft of leaves. The homes of so many of those birds I watch so joyfully in the summer, are now revealed to us all. What a grand and varied testimony to creation's sometimes surprising richness. Already there are green shoots springing forth with promises of daffodils in a short time.

It seems a little absurd, but there is the green and its witness to grand things yet to come. That can help in the midst of the gray we may feel stuck in. I pray for the strength to keep hopefully looking.

Blessed Christmas,

Pastor Randy

Lessons for Sunday, December 21st
2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16
Romans 16:25-27
Luke 1:26-38

THIS WEEK

Wednesday      10:00 am Bible study w/Pastor Randy
                         5:30 pm  Advent Potluck soup/bread supper
                         6:30 pm Advent Jesse Tree devotion
                         7:00 pm SOV Choir Rehearsal

Thursday         10:00 am LLL
                        12:00 pm All Church Christmas Luncheon
                         7:00 pm  Council Meeting

Friday             1:00 pm Palmeter Piano Studio
                       1:30 - 7:00 pm Red Cross Blood Drive

Saturday         10:00 - 11:30 am SOV Choir rehearsal

Sunday            8:30 & 11:00 am worship
                       6:00 pm  Children's Christmas and Choir Concert

Reminders:

All Church Christmas Luncheon

Thursday, December 18th @ 12:00 pm

Council meeting
Thursday, December 18th @ 7:00 pm

Donations are being accepted for Poinsettias on Christmas Eve, please place your donation in the offering plate or drop it by the church office.

Christmas Eve Candle Light Worship Services with communion and Pastor Brian
4:00 pm Family Friendly Service
6:00 pm Family Friendly Service
11:00 pm  Contemplative Service

Christmas Day Service with Pastor Randy
10:00 am

Sunday, December 28th
One Service
10:00 am
 followed by brunch w/potluck side dish; fruit, sweet  breads, muffins etc.