From Pastor Barry. . .
RECAP OF LAST SUNDAY MORNING:
Your leaders looked at the weather forecast and decided, "We will not cancel
services." And, indeed, there was no problem traveling. BUT, when we
arrived at church the Worship Team informed us that the power had just gone
off. No light, no heat, no PowerPoint for singing or sermon. So we decided
to cancel. Called some folks; sent home some who arrived. Some hung
around. They decided we could at least do the singing. So the worship team
gathered at a window where they could see their music and we sat with phone
flashlights on our hymnals. And it was good. AND THE LIGHTS CAME ON. So I
preached my sermon to a reduced congregation. It was about joyful
celebrating. Our last song was "celebratory." Tom Bogle felt so
"celebratory" on the do-do-do-do-do-do-do-do part of the song that he
decided to dance, with ME! And then it was over. Memorable.
And...Chris Dahm, believing that my wearing of Christmas ties during Advent
needed something more to qualify as "festive attire," gave me a gift of
Christmas socks. Thank you, Chris. I think.
CHRISTMAS EVE & ALL THAT IS FAMILIAR
I have no volunteers yet to add to the worship program planned by
Deb Brown for Christmas Eve. Since this is my first Christmas at Community
Church I don't know who has contributed in the past. Maybe I'll ask Julia.
She will know. And then I might just be calling you. You can do whatever
you have done in the past. After all, it's Advent and Christmas. What we
are already doing in this season we have done before and will do again in
the future. And this kind of repetition is a good thing. Familiar songs,
familiar sermon themes, familiar decorations, familiar traditions are all
good when they keep us focused on the gift of our Savior.
Jews at Passover and Christians at Communion repeatedly come to what
is familiar; familiar elements and objects, familiar words, familiar
actions. But these occasions need not be "old." "What can be new?", you
ask. If we seek, we will find: a growing wonder and awe, "aha!" moments
when our worship becomes richer, a greater peace as our understanding of
God's love expands, the exhilaration of realizing how rich we are as God's
rescued and redeemed children. May God keep us from ever allowing the
familiar to become routine and lifeless. The miracle of Christmas is an
inexhaustible goldmine of wonder, love, joy, and peace. Eager prospectors
seeking rich experiences of God in this goldmine never leave empty handed.
"You will seek me, and find me when you seek me with all your heart."
My sermon this coming Sunday will be from Luke 2:8-20: "Worship - Learn from
Berea Study Group will be responsible for beverage preparations and set-up.