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Tuesday Tidings on Monday

Dearest Members of Bethlehem,

“For you shall go out in joy and be led back in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall burst into song, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.” -Isaiah 55:12

So, when will you begin to decorate for Christmas? I have been surprised by the strong convictions shared when this question is raised.

For years, the faithful have grumbled as Christmas Decorations, lights, garland, and tinsel appear alongside the halloween decorations in department and hardware stores.

I have heard stories of mothers and fathers decorating the whole house after the little ones have been tucked into bed on Christmas Eve. There are still others that insist no box of decorations should be brought down from the attic until, at the very earliest, the Friday after Thanksgiving.

Representatives from every camp make convincing arguments about why their timeline is the right one. And almost all of those with strong feelings rely on the same line of reasoning, they decorate when they decorate, how they decorate, so that the season can be, “special.”

God bless you all, and I want to affirm you and your decorative spirit. And please know, there will be no judgment from me, because only you can truly know what is “special” or most meaningful to you and your family in this, the most wonderful time of the year.

But also know this… the celebration is already underway. It’s not entirely up to us to make things “special,” holy, or even sacred. They already are, and according to the prophet Isaiah… the trees that we place in our homes, and the mountains from whence they come are already clapping their hands and bursting forth in song in praise of the Lord. Sounds like God is one of those types that leaves the decorations up year round.

So, if and when you decide to decorate, you’ll be joining a chorus of praise and thanksgiving that is perpetually unfolding all around us. Enjoy every minute!

Question for reflection: Do you prefer white, or multi-colored lights? A soft warm glow, or the intense vibrancy of an LED?

This week at Bethlehem:

On Tuesday evening our Congregation Council will gather for their monthly meeting at 7:30.

On Wednesday we’ll continue our Bible Study with sessions at 10:30 and 7:00.

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. Confirmation and Youth Group begin at 6:30.

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Dan

God of abundance, as we make our way through these beautiful autumn days, fill our hearts with gratitude. As we see the harvest gathered around us, may our faith be renewed. And as we enjoy the bounty of your goodness, may we be strengthened in your service. We pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.

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