Each church will have a Thanksgiving Eve Worship Service with Communion on Wednesday, November 25. Peace United Church at 6:00 PM and Grey Eagle UMC at 7:30. If you can’t make one, you are welcome to come to the other. Be prepared to tell us what you are thankful for above and beyond “family and friends” for which we are all thankful.
This coming Sunday I will begin a new sermon series called “Testify to Love”. The sermon this week at Grey Eagle UMC will be “Testify to Righteous Love”. I will not be preaching at Peace United Church which will be having the annual Hanging of the Greens Service followed with a potluck dinner and our Annual Meeting.
We have two sets of readings this week, one for Thanksgiving and one for the First Sunday in Advent. Due to constraints on my time I will only make brief comments this week.
Joel 2:21-27 – The Lord call on the earth and its animals to rejoice and be glad for God has provided. The Lord calls on the people to rejoice and be glad for God is repaying all that has been lost and all shall eat and be satiated. They will never again be put to shame.
Psalm 126 – Another Song of Ascents which were sung or chanted as the people climbed the hill into Jerusalem and then to the Temple. We rejoice and give thanks because the Lord has done great things for us.
1 Timothy 2:1-7 – Paul says that we should be praying and giving thanks for everyone, especially national leaders so that we may live in peace and tranquility. This is right because God desires all peoples to be saved and to know the truth.
Matthew 6:25-33 – This is from the middle of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). Jesus teaches us to not worry about what to wear or what to eat because God provides these to us. “Do not strive for these things.” Instead, first strive (seek) for the reign of God and God will provide. Verse 34 then says, “Do not worry about tomorrow . . . for today has enough troubles of its own.”
First Sunday of Advent:
Jeremiah 33:14-16 – The Lord says that there will be a time when a descendant of David will rule and that king will bring justice and righteousness. That time, or that king, will be called “The Lord is our righteousness.” FYI, the very last king of Judah, who ruled in the time of Jeremiah and at the time of the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple by the Babylonians, was named “Zedekiah” which means “righteousness of the Lord.” (See 2 Kings 24:20b-25:7.)
Psalm 25:1-10 – The psalmist David asks the Lord for protection from enemies and to know the ways of God.
1 Thessalonians 3:9-13 – Paul’s letter to the church in Thessalonica in which he expresses his desire to return to them. Paul asks the Lord to let the church increase their love for one another and for all.
Luke 21:25-36 – This Sunday we begin a new year in the Christian calendar with Advent. We also begin a new Lectionary cycle, this year focused on the Gospel of Luke. And, as usual for the beginning of both the church year and the lectionary year, we look not towards Christmas but toward his next coming. Advent is a time of expectations and waiting. Even in this year when I have already seen the Christmas lights and decorations a week or two before Thanksgiving, we should have a sense of expectation of Jesus’ arrival. Watch for the signs and when you see the coming of the Son of Man raise your hand for your redeeming is near.
I hope to see everyone tomorrow night but if not, have a great Thanksgiving. Give Thanks for the Lord has provided!
Peace in Christ,
Pastor Gary Taylor