I give thanks

psalm 118

 

This fall has seen a flurry of activity at Messiah: new audio-visual assets installed in the sanctuary; a very successful and well attended effort during God’s Work – Our Hands Day; a growing craft fair and pet blessing; wonderful and numerous contacts made at the county’s community fellowship festival; and of course an attention getting but very helpful effort by Kevin Hendrickson and our Virginia Synod team at Over the Edge for Special Olympics. I could make a longer list if I cared to do so. In short though, it has been a busy but productive time, and it couldn’t have happened without your support. I give thanks to you and our God for all the mighty things that God has accomplished through our small church family and its shared ministry.

As we continue into November, things will seem only to get busier. I would encourage all of us (me included) to not get lost in the hustle and bustle. Turn toward God and his church instead. Remember we were created to be human beings, not human doers. God reminds us, “Be still and no that I am God” (Palm 46:10). Let’s take time to reconnect with friends and family, as well as our family of faith. Let’s take time to be together and to rejoice in the love that we share. If you have been away, we invite you to come back and join our celebrations. Let’s give thanks together.

The truth remains, we need one another, and the world needs our witness. As Jesus reminds us, “Wherever two or three are gathered in my name, I am there” (Matthew 18:19-20). Yet also we are told that we proclaim the risen Christ through our gatherings, service and celebrations. “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35). Jesus needs to be invited into our lives and thus made manifest in the world. Do you already sense his presence, or is he perhaps inviting you to seek him out? Either way, we’ll find our place at his table when we live as church together.

I pray that the holiday season ahead serves to bless you to be a blessing to your family, your congregation, and the world. Come, taste and see that the Lord is good; his love endures forever. His love is at work in you.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Pastor Lou

This post was originally published in Messiah Lutheran Church and School’s newsletter, The Messenger (November 2014).

Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture quotations for this article are from the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) translation.

© 2014 The Rev. Louis Florio. All content not held under another’s copyright may not be used without permission of the author.

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