Monthly Newsletter – Pastor’s Article

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November 2016 – To God be all glory

Posted by on Oct 27, 2016 in Newsletter | 0 comments

As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another, and if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:12-17 I got an email a few weeks ago from a parishioner and friend, with a note saying – “We saw this sign on a church here in Texas (where they were visiting family). Nathan insisted I send it to you.” The sign said: Jesus is coming – Hopefully before the election.  There was a news story that same week that said 52% of Americans say this election cycle is seriously stressing them out. The stress of our election cycle is very real, but still probably relatively mild compared to the lives of people in many parts of the world. Remembering Haiti, Columbia, Venezuela, and the Carolinas in our own hemisphere…. Iraq, Syria, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan, Nigeria, Afghanistan, among the many places enduring much higher levels of suffering than we are used to… Which is not to make light of our own real trials and struggles. Just to keep our struggles and troubles in perspective, remembering God’s people everywhere are in this life together, according to God’s word. And remembering, as we pray for Jesus and his kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven – we all have roles to play in the drama of his coming kingdom. As a beloved hymn reminds us: O Jesus, I have promised, to serve thee to the end; be thou forever near me, my Master and my friend… O Jesus, we have promised…to serve you to the end. When we join the church, and every time we welcome a new member, we pledge to practice our faith together, as we say these words from the service of baptism and membership in our hymnal: “As members together with you in the body of Christ and in this congregation of The United Methodist Church, we renew our covenant faithfully to participate in the ministries of the church by our prayers, our presence, our gifts, and our service, that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.” Together we seek to be faithful in fulfilling our vows. This fall we’ve reviewed the topics of prayer, presence, gifts, service, and witness – with witness serving as a one word summary for the last phrase of our membership vows  – “that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.” Serving as witnesses for Christ can summarize all the promises we make to God and one another as members of Christ’s body. And the quality of our witness for Jesus, our giving glory to...

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October 2016 – Renewing our Vows

Posted by on Sep 30, 2016 in Newsletter | 0 comments

I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.   Romans 12:1 I didn’t grow up going to church, and even when I first began to believe in God and the biblical story, I still had plenty of doubts about the church. Over the years God has been gradually wearing down these doubts – mostly by bringing me into the company of believers, including you, who have shown me Christ’s grace at work. But having been outside the church for many years, I’m very aware of many of the reasons why some people don’t attend church. Church doesn’t come naturally for most of us, and even when we become accustomed to church, we benefit from periodic renewal of our vows – much like married people renewing their vows. We’re in the middle of a Sunday series in which we’re reviewing the promises we’ve made to God and one another to actively participate in the life of Christ’s church through our prayers, our presence, our gifts, our service, and our witness. We’re renewing our vows together in part because we live in a culture in which church (much like the institution of marriage) no longer enjoys the same breadth of support it once did. When public opinion pollsters ask Americans about their faith preferences, the category that has grown (by far) the most over the past decade is the so-called “Nones” – as in “none-of-the-above.” Without renewal, it becomes easier to forget the vows we’ve made. So I thank God for all of you who are part of our parish. I thank God for all of you who honor God with your presence. It’s a joy to be with you in worship and fellowship and in all the ministries of the church. It’s a blessing to join with you in our parish’s annual selling of pumpkins to raise funds for the Bourne Food Pantry (we do need your help!)… and in contributing to our School food for Back Packs Project, and all our other spiritual formation and outreach ministries. When we join the church and whenever we welcome a new member into the church we say together these words from our Methodist Hymnal: “As members together with you in the body of Christ and in this congregation… We renew our covenant faithfully to participate in the ministries of the church – by our prayers – our presence – our gifts – and our service – that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.” Each part of our vows depends on all the other parts. But in this season in the life of our church, the word that particularly stands out for me is “presence.” It’s often said “showing up is half the battle.” The ancient philosopher Woody Allen has even said: “80% of success is showing up.”  What the actual percentages are, God knows. But whether we’re talking success in the workplace, making friends, staying married, being church together, or life in general – showing up is, at a very minimum, absolutely necessary… And when we’re talking about church, showing up in person, bodily, transformed by the Holy Spirit, ready and willing to participate…may be close to...

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September 2016 – Sowing the gospel and remembering blessings

Posted by on Sep 2, 2016 in Newsletter | 0 comments

He said therefore, “What is the kingdom of God like? And to what should I compare it? It is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in the garden….”  (Luke 13:18-19) The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” The Lord replied, “If you had faith the size of a mustard seed…”     (Luke 17:5-6) I’ve been thinking of mustard seeds because the garden I planted in May failed twice-over, with most seeds never germinating, and those that did mostly scorched into oblivion. The next batch of seeds I replanted was soon over-taken by weeds… And I’ve been tempted at times to abandon the garden… It’s easy to make excuses. It’s been a hot summer. The earth has been very, very dry… Which often feels like a metaphor for the American political scene, which has remained over-heated for what seems a long time now… The world’s tensions smolder constantly… Raising a garden doesn’t seem anywhere near sufficient to make much of a difference… And I tell myself I have other duties more important than watering and weeding…Though I can almost hear the garden crying for attention… Yet there is always something or someone to remind me, whenever I start feeling sorry for myself – that a lot of people in this world are facing much greater difficulties than I am. And Jesus reminds me ‘from those to whom much has been given, much will be expected (Luke 12:48)…’ And the signs on our church lawns this summer have been preaching – “God knows what He is doing – Trust Him”… And – “The more time we spend on our knees, the better our standing.” And – “Every good deed is a song of praise to the Lord...” I’ve been reminded to count my blessings, visiting a parishioner dealing with serious medical issues, who tells me the verse of the bible he always remembers most is – “This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Others I visit, many with significant health issues, tell me how much they feel blessed by our church and its members. Often while visiting I feel ministered to by those I visit…Thanks be to God for this beloved community we’re part of… Jesus tells us we should always be inviting others into the community of his kingdom, the fellowship of all believers. One way we’ve tried to do so this summer has been by hosting a Neighborhood Block Party on the lawn of the Bourne church. Parishioners and neighbors, more than sixty of us, about equally from the church and the neighborhood, gathered together in early August, meeting and greeting, getting to know each other over burgers, hotdogs, and potluck. Thanks to Susan Goux, lead organizer, Mike Eden, Tracy Jaekel, Susan DeWitte (who also loaned a tent), all of whom helped plan, and all who helped set up, cook, serve, and greet – introducing neighbors to this beloved community we’re part of… Community has been alive in our comings and goings… We’ve said good-bye in Cataumet to Cynthia Reams, a beloved member of both the Cataumet and Bourne churches at different times, who passed from this world in August. Her family, friends and members of the church shared stories and memories, connecting earlier generations...

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July/August 2016 – Time and tide

Posted by on Jul 14, 2016 in Newsletter | 0 comments

‘Time and tide wait for no one.’ The forces of time and tide are beyond human control… So often also, it seems, the rhythms of our coming and going. Like the rising and ebbing of the tide, like the rising and setting of the sun… So also the people whom we love come into our lives… and go forth… from our lives… In the past month we’ve said fond farewells to Jean Parker, one of the saints of our Cataumet church, who passed to eternal life in June. We’ve said goodbyes to Dot and Fran Charest, beloved members of our Bourne church, who have served the church in so many ways, who have now moved to Connecticut. We’ve said goodbye at least for now, to Wendy Weston, our children’s nursery care coordinator in Bourne for the past two years, who starts law school in the fall… And, following church tradition that goes back to the very earliest church, we’ve laid on hands and prayed over Ryong Jae (Isaac) Jung and his family, Eunsook (Irene) and Eveline Yewon Jung, who have been with us for the past two years, helping and blessing our church in so many ways, as we’ve sent them off with our blessings to serve the College Heights United Methodist Church in Pittsburgh Kansas… Again following ancient church tradition, we’ve laid on hands and prayed over Rebecca Hewett, who has served our Bourne church in many a capacity over more than two decades, as she has now gone forth with our blessings to serve as lay pastor of the South Middleboro United Methodist Church… Each departure brings a mix of sorrows and joys. We shall truly miss each of those who have gone forth from us. Yet in our memorial service for Jean we felt powerful affirmation of the worth of our small yet vital worshiping community, as we heard many testimonies, not only to Jean’s roles in ministry in the church and community, but also to the importance of the church in Jean’s life… We have been blessed to receive the blessings of each person’s many contributions… And we have been blessed to be a blessing to each person who has gone forth… And in all our coming and going, we’re reminded…By God’s grace we are all able to be of real and lasting help to each other in our walks of faith… So as we remember the tide that flows out and the sun that sets… May we also remember… The sun comes up again, and the tide comes in again… And even when time and tide seem to run against us… May we remember… As believers in Jesus and as members of his church universal we are always in communion and community with one another, even beyond all boundaries of time and tide… Please read the reflections that follow from Wendy, Rebecca, and Ryong Jae, and pray each of them will be richly blessed in their ministries… Please keep all members and attenders of our parish in your prayers… The grace and peace of our risen Savior be ever with you, Pastor Tim ********* Reflections on Growing up in Church The following reflections were offered by Wendy Weston, Rebecca Hewett, and Ryong Jae (Isaac) Jung on Children’s Sunday, June 24, in Bourne UMC. *********...

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June 2016 – Where are we?

Posted by on Jun 3, 2016 in Newsletter | 0 comments

There are probably almost as many answers to the question – “where are we?” as there are people on earth. Narrowing our field of inquiry by asking only Christians yields a bit more common ground, but still we have a vast array of answers.  Asking only United Methodists, reduces the number of answers, it seems, only a little… Of course where we are always depends on what kind of ‘where’ we are talking about – what physical, mental, emotional and spiritual coordinates we’re assessing our whereabouts with. Even starting very locally, here in our Bourne-Cataumet Parish – we’re always in many places at the same time. We’re in the midst of a Sunday sermon series, walking through the book of Acts – the church’s original spiritual travelogue. We’re assembling health kits to be brought to our Methodist Annual Conference (June 16-18) in Manchester, NH; these kits may be put to use virtually anywhere in the world in response to natural and human-made disasters. We’re nearing the end of our Sunday School Year (June 12th is Children’s Sunday – be there or be square). We’re continuing our Parish Friday morning Walking Group (we meet at 9 am every Friday at the Bourne Bridge parking area, starting with prayers and continuing with exercise and conversation together– come join us). We’re the body of Christ together, with many members in many ministries, all the time. I’m also reminded of how many different answers there are to ‘where are we?’ types of questions in our study of Acts – where followers are altogether in one place, yet communicating in many languages (Acts chapter 2) and coming up with ways of bridging cultural differences (see especially Acts 6:1-7 and chapters 10, 11, and 15) – and as I’ve followed the course of our recently concluded General Conference of the United Methodist Church (our global once-every-four-years meeting) through news articles, live-streaming, and brief reports from friends and family who were in attendance… I think the Methodist Council of Bishops’ letter that appears in this edition of Circuit Rider summarizes the state of the global Methodist church pretty well. I agree with the Bishops when they say there is still a lot of unity in this very diverse global church, alongside all the disunity that gets more headlines. But the most convincing case I’ve seen for seeking greater unity while learning to better understand our differences is in a video clip from General Conference I’ve just watched, with Ann Jacob, a young adult from Eastern Pennsylvania Conference, speaking about a global gathering of younger Methodists that brought together more than 300 young Methodists from 34 countries. Much as we’ve witnessed in General Conferences over the past four decades, these young people also engaged in long, arduous, and tear-stained debate over human sexuality. A final debate, she said, went on for ten hours straight, ending at 3 in the morning. Deep differences were not resolved. But, she said, when they re-convened there was deep agreement on the need to stay together and continue to learn together how to better serve Jesus. Here is the entire text of the Young Persons’ Convocation’s statement, read by Ms. Jacob: “There has been increasing talk of schism of the United Methodist Church in recent months. Many say that the issue of...

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May 2016 – Where are we going?

Posted by on Apr 28, 2016 in Newsletter | 0 comments

There’s a dialogue in the (rather adult) children’s story, Alice in Wonderland, in which Alice asks the Cheshire Cat: “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”  “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.  “I don’t much care where–” said Alice.  “Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat. “–so long as I get SOMEWHERE,” Alice added as an explanation.  “Oh, you’re sure to do that,” said the Cat, “if you only walk long enough.” Where are we going? – is always a question worth revisiting. No disrespect to Alice, but if we’re followers of Jesus, of course we believe it matters more than we can even imagine where we’re going. Most of us believe our ultimate destination goal is heaven – the kingdom of God – life eternal with God. How we say it depends mostly on which gospel we’re in. Matthew’s gospel usually speaks of the kingdom of heaven, the gospels of Mark and Luke usually say the kingdom of God, while John’s gospel speaks of life eternal with God. However we phrase it, our ultimate destination goal should always be kept in view. It’s nearly always helpful to also have short term destination goals. When we’re traveling across country by car, it helps to have a good idea where we’ll be stopping each day or night for rest. Some destinations require advance reservations, especially in peak seasons. If we’re planning on staying with family or close friends it may be fine to show up with only a little notice, even late at night. Even then, it’s usually best to know someone will be home… But wherever we’re going, how we plan to get there depends in part on where we’re expecting to be. Experienced travelers virtually always have a Plan B (and a Plan C) just in case. In Acts 16:6-15 the apostle Paul and his companions are traveling on a mission trip when the Holy Spirit blocks them from going where they intended. They turn in another direction. The Spirit blocks the way again. Then in the night God sends a vision that leads to Philippi, and the planting of the Philippian church. We’re never told exactly why God led the disciples this way. Perhaps there’s some resemblance here to the way God leads Israel through the wilderness by a much longer way around in order to avoid conflicts that might scare the Israelites into retreating all the way back to slavery in Egypt (Exodus 13:17-18). Perhaps this is simply one of God’s ways of helping us to be spiritually alert and capable of response to God’s leadings. As the beloved old song says – “Though by the path he leadeth, but one step I may see”… The point really not being that God is not letting us see as much as we might like – the point being rather in the completion of the phrase – “his eye is on the sparrow – I know he watches me.” As Christ’s church here in Bourne and Cataumet, where do we feel God leading us? Where do we think God is directing us to be a year from now? Five years from now? Ten years from now? I hope we...

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April 2016 – Clean-up and Planting

Posted by on Apr 7, 2016 in Newsletter | 0 comments

Spring, by tradition, is a time for Spring cleaning and Spring planting. It’s been a bit challenging trying to visualize working in the garden this week, what with fresh snow on the ground for three days in a row. So I’ve been thinking more about Spring cleaning – though I know from experience I’ll probably barely begin to do all the clean up work that should be done. Our household does fine with all the routine cleaning. It’s getting rid of things we don’t actually need that’s problematic. I spent four days cleaning my office a little over a year ago. It’s due again, big time. We still have many boxes in storage containing a mix of practical and at least occasionally in-use items alongside stuff we may not even remember we have. Friends, family, and neighbors report similar stories. And in our churches, I notice, we have quite a few items from the past-the meaning and/or importance of which we’re no longer quite sure of. The current issue of Christian Century magazine has a cover story titled The Joy of De-Cluttering, that plays off the themes of the best-selling book The Life-Saving Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. The rule of thumb in the book is summarized as ‘If it brings joy, keep it. If it doesn’t, let it go.’ Which, as the article notes, sounds great, and may actually be an excellent rule.  Though it’s obviously at least a bit too sweeping – does anyone really feel joy at the sight of a fire extinguisher or smoke alarm? Yet we know we need them, joy-enhancing or not. (Perhaps we should feel joy – if only we knew?) But isn’t the real problem with ‘keep it only if it brings joy’ – that this ‘simple rule’ doesn’t actually make deciding what to do with stuff much simpler? Does the sweater I haven’t worn for two years still bring joy? Do all the  books on all my shelves bring joy? (Certainly some do; certainly not all. I find it relatively easy to give away books to someone I know will read them. I like to donate to our Thrift Shop, and I don’t mind giving books unlikely to sell to the Swap Shop. But I still dislike the thought of books I’ve owned ending up in a landfill… if nobody buys them or brings them home…) I struggle often to discern the difference between genuine joy and emotions that masquerade as joy. And the real work of cleaning turns out to be a spiritual practice of letting go. So – I will make at least a few trips to the Thrift Shop and the Swap Shop… And before I know where the time has gone… It will be time for planting. Some of you are already there. This year our family has a garden plot at the Valley Farms Community Garden on County Road. We’ve just received an email notice of where our spot is and explaining community garden rules – and mentioning that the first gardener actually seen out planting this Spring has been our Bourne UMC parishioner, Mike Eden – who got his first peas, carrots and other hardy early crops planted in March. No wonder his garden plot is popularly known as (what else?) –...

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March 2016 – Late for Lent

Posted by on Feb 25, 2016 in Newsletter | 0 comments

I think I was almost ready for the start of Lent. At least our Ash Wednesday evening worship service was, thanks to the Holy Spirit, and thanks to our music leaders and singers, a rich spiritual experience for me… (It didn’t hurt a bit that a pair of snow storms just before Ash Wednesday had given us a little more time to enter into the spirit of preparation for Lent…) But suddenly we’re nearly halfway through Lent…And I’m nowhere near where I hoped to be… in this season of slowing down… making more time for prayer… fasting and abstaining… and other spiritual practices. I’ve been intending to pray more and cut back on time spent on the computer. But I don’t feel up to speed on either of these. (Though maybe that’s not the best metaphor… for this season…) I don’t know exactly where the time has gone, but… in one of our recent Sunday gospel lessons Jesus compares himself to a mother hen, saying “How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!” (Luke 13:31-35.) And I can imagine a very large brood of little chickens, with myself in the midst of them all, and us all chirping together, “Lord, I’m trying to get there under your wing, but… I’ve got meetings to go to, people to call back and visit, chores to do, and a whole lot of email to answer before I can get there… But I really do mean to be there, under your wing, real soon… Well, at least just as soon as I can… Meaning, I guess… eventually….” And I can also hear Jesus speaking in the parable he gives us in this coming Sunday’s gospel, where a landowner has a fig tree and he complains to the gardener about this tree that has not born fruit for three years. “Cut it down! Why should it be wasting the soil?” And this gardener (who sounds like an old fashioned organic gardener, since he’s not apparently planning to spray with high potency chemical fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, etc.) says “Sir, let it alone for one more year, until I dig around it and put manure on it. If it bears fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.” (Luke 13:6-9.) And it can be easy to give in to a sense of gloom or defeat… And wonder if I’ve been bearing any fruit at all….Depending on how I hear this story Jesus tells. It’s often been assumed by interpreters that God must be the landowner in this parable, and Jesus must be the gardener, pleading for a little more time for the tree, which must be Israel or the church or perhaps each of us…. Which on one level does seem to be implied… But maybe there are other ways to hear the story? Maybe Jesus intends for this parable to get us pondering fruitfulness from a different angle. In another gardening story (John 15) Jesus tells us he is the vine – and God the Father is the gardener – who prunes the vine, cutting away unfruitful boughs (so there is still accountability in the story) but mostly pruning back branches to get...

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January-February 2016 – Body Language

Posted by on Jan 22, 2016 in Newsletter | 0 comments

For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.   1 Corinthians 12:12 On his last night before his death on the cross Jesus prayed that all his followers would be one (John 17:20-24). Jesus’ prayer has been answered affirmatively. Though not yet in fullness. Together we are all one in the body of Christ. Even though our unity is not yet fully evident… I write during this year’s Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Members from both of our churches have just worshiped with members of St John the Evangelist parish in Pocasset, in observance of this theme of Christian unity. Members of our choirs joined together in song. A member of one of our churches and a member of their church read scripture. Fr David Frederici and I gave brief homilies. The Holy Spirit’s presence was felt from first exchanges of warm greetings to shared farewells, with many of us saying to each other, “we need to do this more often.” We do; and with God’s help, we will. I’ve also been part of a prayer group made up of Protestant pastors in Bourne in recent months. As we’ve shared joys and concerns together in prayer I’ve felt the Holy Spirit leading. Again, I hope and believe we will find ways to worship and share fellowship this year with the churches of Jesus Christ around us, with whom we share identity and purpose in the one body of Christ. We ourselves of course are a parish made up of two churches, so the theme of Christian unity is ever before us. In recent years we’ve been doing many more things together, including our joint Pumpkin Patch for the Bourne Food Pantry, our Thanksgiving community meal, our joint Outreach Committee meetings, regular check-in meetings of our Finance Committees, coordinated benefit dinners for Imagine No Malaria, our annual hymn sing gathering, shared worship for Ash Wednesday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunrise services. Recently Kari, our choir director, has been bringing members of both of our choirs together, adding voices in each church. Last September we worshiped together on the day pumpkins were scheduled to arrive. We’re now planning to worship together again February 14 (first Sunday of Lent), and May 15 (Pentecost). Worship, prayer, fellowship, service, outreach to the community – sharing more often in these basic ministries is a blessing for both our churches and our wider community. Because, as scripture tells us, we are one body – and the health of the whole body depends on the health of all its members. The church is the body of Christ, and all believers in Christ are members of this one body. The apostle Paul uses this ‘body language’ more than 40 times – in Romans 12, in each of the first five chapters of Ephesians, in the first three chapters of Colossians, and especially in 1st Corinthians 12, where the apostle tells us all members of the body of Christ – eyes, ears, hands, feet – serve the common needs of the one body. No member can function properly on its own. Bible scholar Brian Peterson notes “The image of the body as a communal reality is not...

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December 2015 – Waiting for new life

Posted by on Dec 4, 2015 in Newsletter | 0 comments

Advent is a season designed for waiting and preparing for new life, new birth. Waiting and preparing for Jesus… Which, like preparing for any human birth, is not something we can completely control or do all according to personal preferences and schedules. Advent means waiting and preparing for Jesus. Jesus is different. Jesus is not concerned, for example, about what’s popular or in style. When we wait for Jesus, prepare for Jesus, make ready our hearts and lives for Jesus, we’re often going to be out of step with a lot of what’s going on around us. And Jesus has rather different standards for assessing what’s worthwhile. When we prioritize new life with Jesus we’re seldom going to have anything really objective to show for our efforts in the short-term, when this year’s Advent and Christmas are over. Nothing, that is, except more peace of mind and contentment of heart. And a deeper, richer sense of beloved community and God’s presence. Still, even knowing all the potential blessings of Advent – it’s not so easy to spend four weeks focused on waiting for Jesus in this culture, which stresses rational plans with concrete goals and objectives, measurable rewards and benefits. The marketeers and merchandisers of the secular Christmas know this well. They feed us their version of the Christmas seasonal message unceasingly… And the incessant background buzz of the marketing season is always there in the public space, just about always this time of year. Katelyn Beatty, managing editor of Christanity Today, notes that those of us who seek to live differently often find ourselves perplexed about how to proceed, and seeking to counter the commercial Christmas season with “wow” activities and programs that actually mimic and subtly buy-in to the marketing approaches of the Christmas Industry. Beatty writes: “It’s like we don’t trust the incarnation to sell itself. And maybe that’s our problem. The trick about the incarnation–God becoming man–is that it can’t be sold, scheduled, or enjoyed in the way a glass of eggnog or a new gadget can. It refuses to bend to the rules of the market. It can only be beheld.” And we can only really behold the awesome mystery of the incarnation, God-with-us in Jesus Christ, by living incarnationally. Becoming mothers and midwives of the birth of Christ. Making room for Christ to live and grow within ourselves and our families, neighborhoods, and communities. Practicing prayer, bible reading, quiet time with God, time in worship with others, time giving of ourselves…Till we find ourselves saying “Yes” to God more and more readily… Till we can say, with Mary, mother of Jesus, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord. Let it be with me, according to your word.” My prayer is that we’ll accompany each other faithfully in this Advent and Christmas journey, and really enjoy all the blessings of Christ’s gracious presence. The grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you every day of this beautiful season and beyond… Pastor Tim...

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