November 2020
From the Pastor

BREATHE..... and GIVE THANKS

 

Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

 

This letter may be more of a devotion that I needed to hear, but I pray it is one that you are needing in your life also. By the time you receive this letter, it will be days before the election. The pace of life with the election process, the weightiness of the Corona Virus, the buzz in the stores as they ready for a fast-paced frenzy for the holidays is all too much. I got into my car behind the wheel and before starting the ignition, I took a deep, deep breath to slow myself down and let God back in the driver’s seat.  As I started the car, the radio blasted a quiet message into my head and on my heart, the very words I was speaking to myself – "Be still and know that I am God.”

Autumn has finally fully arrived. The days begin with a little later sunrise and a cool, crisp nip to the air can be felt and breathed in. We can again throw open wide the doors to our homes, workplaces and worship spaces. It is a time to breathe in the renewing breath of the Creator of Life and exhale with the whisper of praise on our lips.

Early mornings can now find me throwing open the front door, opening the windows in my room and taking in a deep, hungry breath of fresh air. It is a breath so craved it might be diagnosed by the right (or wrong) physician or psychiatrist as a fresh air addiction. But, this hunger, this desire to take in this deep breath is so much more. It is my morning offering of worship and praise to Creator God and Father and my Savior, Jesus Christ. It is my breathing in of the Holy Spirit to guide my words and actions for the day. It is the moment each day I am sure to experience sacred joy.

This same sacred joy can be witnessed on autumn Sunday mornings at places of worship. The doors to our churches are opened wide (I pray) to bring in refreshing, renewing air and to welcome in all those looking forward to breathing in Father, Son and Holy Spirit. These open doors add an extra vitality and loving joy to the greetings exchanged between brothers and sisters in Christ as we enter into corporate worship. Within the sacred joy of worship, we gather together confessing our heartfelt indiscretions, hearing God's word, both read and preached, and singing hymns of praise. The whispers on lips become voices raised in song. The breath of God of all Creation is inhaled and thank you is exhaled.  Grace is present and Christ literally enters into us in bread and wine.

 

How can we not give thanks!

 

As we enter into the celebration of our American Thanksgiving, I encourage you to take time to breathe, to breathe deeply. Throw open the doors to your spaces and to your heart and spirit. Breathe in the refreshing, renewing goodness of God, the spirit of sacred joy and the promise kept. Give thanks for every life sustaining breath and for the gift of God's holy breath within you.

 

OK, are you ready? 1...2...3..... Take a deep breath....... Breathe..... and Give Thanks!

Servants together,

Pr. Paul <><

 

p.s. Did you know?   The turkey was almost our national bird.  Wild turkeys are the direct ancestors of the domestic turkey many of us eat for Thanksgiving.  Had it been up to Benjamin Franklin, the turkey we carve for Thanksgiving dinner might have been our national bird.

 

p.s.s. - Did you know that Luther said. . . . ???  For what God gives I thank indeed; What He withholds I do not need

 

Thursday, November 19 @ 6:30 p.m. – ASLC Night at the Movies presents –” The Blind Side” - Faith, family, football: Sounds like the trappings of a sincere Thanksgiving movie.  Disney’s retells the real-life story led by stalwart matriarch Leigh Anne Tuohy (Sandra Bullock) as she assumes guardianship of Michael Oher, who goes from homeless teenager to first-round draft pick.