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Showing posts from November, 2012

Greening our Hearts

(A Sermon based on 1 Corinthians 13 for the Hanging of the Green 2012)

This morning we have celebrated the greening or the decorating of our sanctuary for the Advent and Christmas seasons (a reminder: Advent begins next Sunday and continues until Christmas Eve; the Christmas season begins on Christmas Day and ends twelve days later). The decorations serve to enhance the always-present beauty of the sanctuary; they make an already beautiful place even more beautiful.

Decorations can dress up a place that is not already attractive, though. Imagine that you are driving around town at night looking at Christmas lights. You drive through various neighborhoods and by many houses, all the while thinking, “Well, that’s pretty.” Then imagine that you drive through those same neighborhoods and by those same houses in the middle of the next day. In some cases, you will still think the houses are pretty. In other cases, not so much.

You can dress up an ugly place. You can enhance a be…

Give Thanks

(A Communion Meditation based on Luke 22:14-20 for the Sunday before Thanksgiving Day)

The American Thanksgiving holiday has a long and rich history. Its roots can be traced to November 1621 when those English Separatists, known to us as the Pilgrims, celebrated their first corn harvest in the New World with a three-day feast that was shared with their Native American allies. The feast of thanksgiving, declared by Plymouth Colony Governor William Bradford, followed the harvest that followed the summer and spring that followed their first winter in the New World, a winter during which around half of the settlers had died. The Pilgrims celebrated their blessings, then, but they did so in the shadow of great suffering and of great trials as well as in the face of the great unknown that stretched out before them.

The first national Thanksgiving Day proclamation issued by the new United States government was that of President George Washington in 1789; he called for it as a day to giv…