Dearest Members of Bethlehem,
“Enter his gates with Thanksgiving, and his courts with praise. Give
thanks to him, bless his name.” Psalm 100:4
There are so many blessings for which I am so deeply grateful, but I
would like to celebrate one blessing in particular this morning.
Over the course of the last several weeks, every time I have walked
through the “gates” (or the doors in the back of the sanctuary), I have
witnessed a glorious sight… an ever-growing collection of canned
goods in the front of the sanctuary.
It truly has been magnificent to watch this visible representation of our
congregation’s generosity. It has been an encouragement to me, and
Every canned good, bag of pasta, or box of mashed potatoes is a
genuine expression of care. Those who are sharing their gifts, want to
share their bounty and have others benefit. This is a glimpse of the
Gospel, in this generous act we see the people of God living into the
hope that Christ had for them.
Next, members take the time to place these donations carefully and
strategically in the front of the sanctuary. The tall box of pasta sticks
up in the back, the diminutive can of cream of mushroom soup is
stationed front and center.
Are we bragging, attempting to “make a show?” No, to the contrary,
what we are doing is having as many gifts visible as possible, so that
each gift can be honored and appreciated appropriately.
This too is an expression of God’s hope for the Body of Christ, we
need all the members and all the gifts if our ministry is going to be all
that it can be. It might take a little work, maybe a little creative
maneuvering, but there really is a place for all of us… and everyone
has something of value to give.
And for that, I give heartfelt thanks and praise, and sincerely pray that
you have a meaningful, safe, happy, and healthy Thanksgiving!
Question for reflection: If you could share one of your family’s
Thanksgiving specialties with your neighbors, what would it be?
This week at Bethlehem:
On Wednesday we’ll share together in our Thanksgiving Eve service,
which will begin at 7:30.
On Saturday evening, we will share in worship at 6:00.
On Sunday morning we will offer worship at 8:00 and 10:30.
Sunday School begins at 9:15.
Yours in Christ,
God of love and mercy, afford us moments in the week ahead when
our heartfelt expressions of gratitude would renew our faith. We have
indeed been blessed, and you are the source of all that is good. May
all our praise be reflective of that deep truth. We pray in Jesus’ name,