December 3, 2021

Celebrating Life

8TheLord is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. 9The Lord is good to everyone. He showers compassion on all his creation. 10All of your works will thank you, Lord, and your faithful followers will praise you… 13bThe Lord always keeps his promises; he is gracious in all he does. 14The Lord helps the fallen and lifts those bent beneath their loads. 15The eyes of all look to you in hope; you give them their food as they need it. 16When you open your hand, you satisfy the hunger and thirst of every living thing. 17The Lord is righteous in everything he does; he is filled with kindness…
21I will praise the Lord, and may everyone on earth bless his holy name forever and ever.

Psalm 145:8-10, 13b-17, 21

As we move into the season of Advent and toward Christmas, we also head to the end of another year. With the coming of a new year we sometimes take the time to review the year that is just gone by. After an-other year of challenges and opportunities how should we look at this year?

How about celebrating life? This has been another year of uncertainty but if you are seeing this/reading this, that means you are still here and aware. For whatever reason the shortcomings, those tasks we planned for but did come to fruition, can take up a lot of our consideration. But what about the things that did come off as we hoped? And even when things did not go as planned, did we show up to continue on and/or to start anew? That is a victory to celebrate as we look back on this year.

I know I have said this before, I am sure many of us hoped that things would have moved forward more than they have so far. But we can take heart in that we are meeting together each week in worship, our children are meeting together in person occasionally, and on Sunday, the 21st, there were as many people in person for Bible Study in the library as there were on Zoom. With the vaccines and boosters, especially vaccines for younger children, families can feel more confident in meeting together. Children and youth completed and started another school year and many graduated and moved on to the next phase of education or work life.

It has been a year of challenge and opportunity. Some of us have had to help (and continue to) a family member as they navigated illness, and have grieved the loss of a loved one. Yes, there is still uncertainty on so many fronts but even in the midst of that we continue, in faith to journey on and to plan for the future. Why? Because we have hope – through the support of community and the truth found in the hymn: “our hope is built on nothing less/than Jesus blood and righteousness…/On Christ the solid rock we stand/all other ground is sink-ing sand.”

Growing Together in Christ,
Pastor Carolyn