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Tidings from Bethlehem

Dear Friends in Christ,


One of the things I will often do in order to be inspired to write something for our monthly newsletter is look up the month’s holidays. The lists that pop up in an internet search may include a more widely known day, like Christmas in December, but most often almost every day of the month is marked with something that is probably less widely known and celebrated.


For example in August, just one list included 83 holidays and celebrations with August 1 having the most special days with 10. Just one day with ten celebrations, ranging from Sisters’ Day to World Lung Cancer Day. Looking at the list this month, I could pick many days that would be interesting to me to celebrate like National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day (August 4), International Infinity Day (August 8), National Book Lovers Day (August 9), Lazy Day (August 10), Tell a Joke Day (August 16), International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition (August 23), National Beach Day (August 30), and even though there are 82 other holidays and celebrations this month, we apparently still needed a National Just Because Day (August 27).


With all of these occasions occupying my mind, a familiar verse from the Psalm 118:24 seemed appropriate:


“This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” I will certainly rejoice on days I get to spend eating cookies, reading a good book, and enjoying celebrating the days we’ve been gifted by God. We may not feel like rejoicing everyday and indeed, the list of holidays includes more serious subject matter.


But what I love about this list is that it gives us intention. A list like this helps us see the amazing things that are celebrating and observed communally. God has given us this moment in time to be God’s people together, siblings in Christ working for healing of the sick, eating together, taking time to relax and laugh, fighting for justice, and enjoying creation.


How will you spend your month? Anything special coming up for you? I pray that you will find moments of rejoicing!


Peace,

Pastor Ellen

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