RSS

Category Archives: Worship

New Heavens, New Earth, New Future

(a sermon for April 12, 2020, Easter Sunday, based on John 20:1-18 and Isaiah 65:17)

Well, let’s just start by stating the obvious:  this year Easter feels different… very different.

I realized at some point this week that as I’ve been talking with family and friends about my plans for our worship today I’ve almost always begun with the words, “Well, under ordinary circumstances…” as in, “Well, under ordinary circumstances we’d have a sanctuary filled with beautiful flowers (not to mention a sanctuary filled with beautiful people!)… under ordinary circumstances we’d be all here together singing out the triumphant hymns of our resurrection faith, and we’d be shouting our alleluias and our “Christ is risen, indeed’s” so loud and so often that our voices might go hoarse in the process… under ordinary circumstances, our Easter Sunday worship would be such a wonderful time of freshness and renewal and true celebration that we’d all leave church today with the feeling that everything around us had suddenly and gloriously become brand new… and us along with it!

But of course, these aren’t “ordinary circumstances,” by any means; in an unprecedented set of new circumstances brought about by the Covid-19 Pandemic we’ve had rethink and reconfigure how to “do” Easter… or at least how to do it from a distance!  So yes, this year Easter does feel very different; and I’ll confess that like most of you I’m really missing all the traditions, both in and out of the church, that have made our Easter celebrations so great every year!  But that said, I also have to confess that lately I’ve been thinking that maybe this idea of our “feeling brand new” on this particular day should maybe have less to do with how we “do” Easter than what’s been done for us on Easter.

Believe it or not, it’s reminded me of how once many years ago, on a whim I decided to shave off my beard.  Now I’ve had this protuberance of whiskers on my chin for over 30 years now (I actually grew it so I could look older (!); I know… so much for that concept!), and I’d never totally shaved it off before nor have I since.  But for some reason on this one day I got it into my head I needed something fresh and new in my life – I needed to be fresh and new – so literally just like that, off came the beard.  

Now at this point, (our youngest son) Zach hadn’t been born yet, and it was just Jake and Sarah; and Jake, who I don’t think was even in school yet, took one look at the “new” me and cried his eyes out!  On the other hand, my lovely wife Lisa – my lovely, supportive wife, Lisa – started laughing hysterically; as I recall, her first three intelligible words were, “Grow… it… back!”  But my daughter Sarah, who was barely a toddler at the time, eyed me warily at first and then as I drew closer to her, she took her two little hands, tapped me on the cheeks and said, rather nonchalantly, “Daddy.”  From that moment, you see, it didn’t matter to her that I looked so different; I felt the same and inside I was the same, so she could tell that I was still her Daddy!  I was grateful for that, but I also immediately realized that shaving off the beard wasn’t going to give me that “newness” of life, so to speak, that I was seeking!

My point here is though appearances may change and circumstances around us can and do drastically shift, who we are deep down inside remains the same; try as we may, we can’t make ourselves to be “brand new” simply by our own effort.  We can’t do it by wealth, it can’t happen through the exercise of power, and it doesn’t occur out of the sheer force of will and determination.  In the end, you see, no matter what kind of “extreme makeover” we attempt for ourselves, there’s nothing we can do that makes us brand new.

But here’s the good news of Easter, beloved, and the real reason for celebrating today: it’s that God can make us brand new, and does.  The same God who promised to “create new heavens and a new earth,” makes us brand new as well and has done it through Jesus, who is the Christ: Jesus, who in rising again has conquered the one absolute certainly of our human existence – our death – and has opened for us the gates of life abundant and everlasting.  By the resurrection, we become a new creation; a people of a new heaven, a new earth and a new future.  And the experience of that is what moves this day of celebration far beyond the realm of candy and flowers and new spring clothes; it’s what makes our worship this morning infinitely more than simply an exercise in hymn singing and alleluia shouting; and it’s how it can utterly transcend our being unable to gather together as the church “in person!”  It’s the resurrection that makes our lives – yours and mine – something fuller and greater than we had ever thought possible.  For you see, when God enters into our lives in such a way that we are enabled to see this world not as a place of death, decay and defeat, but as the place awaiting God’s final victory of life, we are, in fact and forevermore, made brand new!   

Christ is risen; and because of that, friends, this world and our lives in this world can never be the same as it was before; and thanks be to God for it!   In fact, in the words of the late British theologian Lesslie Newbigin, in this world the resurrection can only be viewed as “a total starting point… the ultimate protest against things as they are, in the name of what ought to be,” the proclamation that “the world as it is is not God’s last word.”   It is no wonder that throughout the history of the church, Easter has often been referred to as “Day of Days,” or, more pointedly, “The First Day.” Because from this first day on, everything is brand new.

Of the four accounts of the resurrection that are contained in the gospels, I think I’ve always been drawn the most to John’s version of the Easter story. I love, for instance, how John tells us that Mary Magdalene came to the tomb that morning early “while it was still dark,” suggesting that the day hadn’t even begun yet, but rather that time between darkness and the dawn when things still seem so gray and uncertain.  I am always struck by how Peter and the other disciple race to get to the tomb first, but then, so amazed by what they discover there, end up wandering back home and leaving Mary alone, weeping outside the entrance of the tomb.  And I am always moved by how she cries; that so great is her anguish and  grief, first over the death of her Lord but now also over the apparent theft of his body that she doesn’t even recognize the voice of Jesus when he speaks to her… how she assumes Jesus to be the gardener, of all people!

Isn’t it interesting that it’s only when Jesus calls her by name, “Mary,” only then does she recognize him; only then that she can begin to understand this incredible thing that had happened; only in that moment did her world and her life become brand new, and the overwhelming tears of grief and anguish are replaced by tears of joy and even laughter.  Suddenly, despair turns to hope, defeat becomes victory, and what was impossible now becomes not only possible but real!   Where before there was nothing but death staring Mary in the face, now there’s life with this brand-new future laid open before her!

That’s an incredible moment; for what we sometimes forget in remembering the great theological and cosmic implications of the resurrection is that while God so loved the world, God also so loved the one.  In this exchange between Mary and the risen Christ we discover that God does indeed seek to bring each one home to him in a love that is as real and close as our very hearts. 

But then, this shouldn’t surprise us.  One thing Jesus was always teaching us is that God is not about to let us go, that he calls us by our names, and that he will transform heaven and earth if it’ll bring us home.  And now, through Christ, crucified and risen, God makes the world brand new, and makes us brand new along with it.

And that’s why, even in these most stressful and uncertain of days: even in these times when the struggles of the world have become our struggles; even as in life we suffer the slings and arrows of an outrageous, cruel and sinful humanity; even now, we can still dare to love; even now we dare to wonder and to trust that even in the bleakest of times that God is good. 

We dare to hope in God’s shalom to bring forth a new day of resurrection and hope to every dark place in the world, and we dare to work boldly as persons and as a people for the sake of God’s kingdom; all because we know that Christ has overcome the world, and that there is a new heaven, a new earth and a new future for you and for me.   And, friends, that is what makes all the difference for us not only today, but also tomorrow and every day to come.

Someone once asked the poet G.K. Chesterton what personifies a Christian, and he replied that “a Christian will do two things:  dance out of the sheer sense of joy, and fight out of the sheer sense of victory.”   Well, beloved, today on this day of resurrection, we dance!   Wherever and however we happen to be today, we sing and celebrate that Christ is risen, and we praise the God of resurrection and new life… today is for dancing!  

But tomorrow, when life continues in this strange “new normal,” we fight.  We fight out of a sheer sense of victory; we fight because by the power of the risen Christ we are not the same as before, but different; we fight because of a new sense of who we are and what our lives are about; we fight because we are made brand new and our lives are starting all over again! 

Can you imagine what that means?  What do you think could happen to us and to this world if we could just be bold enough to live that way?

My prayer for all of us amidst the “extra-ordinary circumstances” of this Easter Day is that the Risen Christ, the one who is alive in the world and alive in our hearts, will give us courage and grace to dare to live that kind of life: not only on this day of days, this first of days, gut also on every day that’s to come.  And may we always be joyful and bold in proclaiming…

…Christ is risen! (He is risen indeed!)

Alleluia, and AMEN!

© Rev. Michael W. Lowry.  All Rights Reserved.

 
 

Tags: , , ,

We Are the Church!

(a sermon for March 20, 2020, the 4th Sunday in Lent, based on Philippians 4:4-9 and Matthew 18:20)

Some years ago when I was still a young pastor I was asked by the local funeral home if I might lead a graveside memorial service for an elderly widow from a nearby rural village.  Apparently, though she’d been born and brought up in that community, she hadn’t lived there for years; but after her husband passed away, she’d recently returned home to “the county” and had been living alone in the family homestead… which meant that most if not all of her family was gone now and she really didn’t know all that many people in town. 

However, the funeral director let me know, this was apt to be a well-attended gathering; because, as it turned out, this woman and her husband were throughout their lives strong and tireless benefactors of a small private school where they’d lived and worked together.  So, I was told, the headmaster of the school was coming up; there were going to be members of the board of directors, and even a few student alumni who had offered to speak; and so it was looking like this service was going to be a true celebration of a life well-lived and of a woman greatly loved and admired.

But then came the hurricane.

Not a full-fledged hurricane, mind you; but as is typical in this part of the world, it was forecasted that we were to feel the effects of such a storm veering out into the Gulf of Maine.  Suffice to say that on the morning of the service, the funeral director called to let me know that none of the people who were scheduled to be a part of this memorial service were going to be able to attend… but also that we were going to go ahead with the service as planned.  And so, that afternoon, the funeral director and I met at the cemetery… with only one other person who’d come to pay her respects:  another elderly widow, who as it happened, lived across the road from the deceased; someone who’d known he woman from way “back in the day,” and who’d renewed their friendship since she’d come back to town.  But she was the only one who’d come.

Kind of sad, to be sure; but okay… and at the appointed hour, I opened my book of worship and began the service, speaking those all-important words of promise, assurance and comfort that are given us in scripture…

… and it started to rain.

And not just a few sprinkles, mind you, but a full-fledged shower growing stronger all the time!  Now, in retrospect, given the forecast for that day I can’t fathom why none of us had brought an umbrella, but there the three of us were, standing outside in the rain and getting more and more soaked by the minute. And I’ll be honest, at this point not only am I mentally figuring all of what I could leave out of this service so move it along, I’m also starting to read the scripture faster and faster as I’m going… because folks, we’re getting wet!  But just as I’m about to “throw in the towel,” so to speak, the neighbor woman leans in close, looks me square in the eye, and with raindrops dripping off her brow, says to me in a way that only ladies from Aroostook County can, “Don’t you dare to leave anything out of your service, pastor… she deserves every word… so keep going.

And that’s exactly what we did… and it was a truly a sacred time.  I thinkmaybe that was the very first time I truly understood Jesus’ words that, “for where[ever] two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.”

I’ve been thinking a lot about that service this week.  Friends, if I’m being honest here, I have to confess that for me, this is kind of a strange way of doing worship.  Not that I have any problem with being online like this – it’s a great technological resource, albeit one I’m still learning to navigate, and I’m very glad for it – and it’s certainly not that I haven’t had any prior experience with leading worship before small or even occasionally non-existent (!) congregations!  It’s just that by its very nature, Christian worship is about people being together in God’s holy temple singing and praying unto the Lord; face to face and eye to eye as one people, one faith, one church.  For a lot of us, myself included, physically coming together to worship on a Sunday morning is as natural and as essential as our very breathing!

But these are challenging and uncertain times in which we live, and so it’s not only prudent and responsible but also faithful that we heed the call not to gather together in the midst of this current Coronavirus crisis… so here we are, gathering in a “virtual” way and, at least for the time being, living separately from one another; living alone together, as it were.  And yes, that is strange, even for those of us who are accustomed to solitude; because, to quote pastor and author Craig Goeschel, who posted an article this week about his own rather difficult experience of self-quarantining after being exposed to Covid-19, “We are not created to be alone… being isolated for days on end is difficult and not what God intended for people.” All this to simply say that these days it’s understandably hard for us to think of ourselves as a church, at least not in the traditional sense.

And yet we are.  Even now, even here on Facebook Live we are the church… because “where[ever] two or more are gathered…” or, because I can’t let a Sunday go by without at least one translation from The Message (!), “When two of you get together on anything at all on earth and make a prayer of it, my Father in heaven goes into action. And when two or three of you are together because of me, you can be sure that I’ll be there.”  Granted, we’re all a bit spread out this morning, and our “remote” settings for worship might be well be at a computer desk or with an iPad on the living room couch, but make no mistake; two or more are most gathered because of the Lord, and the Lord is most certainly with us as we do.

I have to say, friends, that over the past few days I’ve been very heartened by your response to all of this.  Not only have you been more than understanding of the decisions we’ve been forced to make regarding activities at the church, but you’ve been stepping up to find ways of connecting with and helping one another in the midst of this crisis: making phone calls to check in with those who might be feeling more than a little isolated right now; putting together “goodie bags” to drop off to those who are shut in (at the appropriate social distance, of course); offering to pick up and deliver groceries to those who shouldn’t or just can’t get out.  I know that Lisa and I have been greatly appreciative of the calls, the texts and emails you’ve been sending us this week; and of all the offers, large and small, to help get our congregation through this time.

It’s all been a glorious reminder to me that we are the church: a community – a family – who, in the words 2nd Timothy, are called to live our lives knowing that “God did not give us a Spirit of cowardice, buy rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline.” (1:7) Whatever else life and the world hands out, you see, it’s important for us to remember that we are not a people of fear, or discouragement, or anxiety but of a peace “which surpasses all understanding,” of gentleness that shows forth to all, and of thanksgiving for everything we’ve been given because “the Lord is near,” our very hearts and minds guarded throughout this and every crisis “in Christ Jesus.”

Right now, beloved, that’s everything.

In our text for this morning, Paul tells the Philippian Christians in a time of persecution to “rejoice in the Lord always…” In fact, he actually doubles down on this exhortation: “…again I will say, Rejoice.”  It was an important word for them both to keep the faith, and to keep focused on that which in faith they knew to be true, no matter what else was going on around them: “Whatever is true,” Paul says, “whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if this is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

That’s a very good word for you and me as well.  It seems to me that by the grace of God in Jesus Christ we have more than enough that is pure, lovely, and excellent that will see us through the difficult days ahead. The trick will be for us to focus on those things rather than fear and uncertainty; to try each day to think about what we do have rather than what we don’t have.

I’m here to say this morning that prayer will help us with that; purposely and purposefully taking regular time in these days of “staying in” for personal and shared meditation.  Our keeping connected with one another will also go a long way in keeping us focused on that which matters, as will seeking to be creative about how we can be most helpful to those who are the most vulnerable in this crisis. And most of all, we’ll get through by remembering – always – that “the Lord is near.”

Because remember, my dear friends, we don’t just go to church; ultimately, who we are is not about the building or the fact we get together every Sunday morning at 10:00.  We ARE the church, gathered in and spiritually sent forth by and in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.  If we just remember that, we will get through this thing as a church, and maybe even be a little better off for the experience.

And never forget: through it all, the God of peace will be with us.

That’s why we say, today and always, thanks be to God.

Amen and AMEN.

© 2020 Rev. Michael W. Lowry.  All Rights Reserved.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 22, 2020 in Church, Current Events, Jesus, Lent, Sermon, Worship

 

Tags: , , ,

For All the Gifts Along the Way

(a sermon for November 24, 2019, the 24th Sunday after Pentecost and Thanksgiving Sunday, based on Deuteronomy 26:1-11)

Actually, as much as you all know I’ve always loved Thanksgiving Day (!), I must confess that most of those celebrations over the years have all pretty much melded together in my memory; a cornucopia, if you will, of many busy, sometimes even chaotic family gatherings and endless servings of turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy (and stuffing, and sweet potato casserole, and peas and onions, and pies, and… well, you get the idea)!

There are, of course, a few memories that stand out: one of my earliest memories of Thanksgiving, for instance, was one spent at my grandparents’ house and how their table was elegantly and perfectly set with the fine china, polished silverware, and freshly pressed linen tablecloths and napkins, with a small crystal goblet filled with cranberry juice set just so at the center of each plate, to be drank at the very beginning of the Thanksgiving meal, just after grace and before anything else was served!  By contrast I also remember later years when the meal itself seemed overshadowed by my father’s and my utter determination (and, I realize now in retrospect, my mother’s great forbearance!) that we get up to the hunting camp for the last couple of days of deer season that weekend!

And I’ll always have very fond Thanksgiving memories of our own children growing up, all of them running around underfoot laughing and playing with their cousins, even a couple of occasions of Lisa and I having to sit at the dreaded “children’s table” with them when they were very small (which, by the way, did not reduce my consumption of turkey one little bit!).  I also remember one year when Zachary, who was just a toddler at the time, was so fussy at mealtime that I ended up taking him out for a long drive all through the surrounding countryside, in the fervent hope that he might actually fall asleep and so everyone else could eat in relative peace and quiet; but how, all in all, it turned out to be a pretty enjoyable day for my son and me, and I might add, another great, albeit for me slightly delayed, Thanksgiving Dinner!

Strangely enough, however, as I was thinking about it this week I’ve realized that ultimately what I remember most about all these Thanksgivings past is not primarily the food but the people with whom it was shared; all the laugher and conversation, and the stories that get told and told again around that table often long into the night, all these joyous reminders of who we are, where we came from, the many blessings that we share, and most importantly, where those blessings came from…

…which, when you come right down to it, is kind of what the day is supposed to be all about anyway!

Therein lies one of the more interesting things about our Thanksgiving Day celebrations: as the late columnist Erma Bombeck once wrote, “Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare, [but] they are consumed in twelve minutes,” so… the question becomes, what are we to do with the rest of the day?  Granted, for many people and families these days Thanksgiving becomes more like a progressive dinner with several stops (and very often more than one dinner!) throughout the day, and what with parades and football and of course, the infamous “Black Friday” sales that now begin as early as Thursday afternoon (!) there is plenty happening to occupy the day; truly, I don’t think I need to tell anyone here how busy and convoluted a day Thanksgiving can become!  But that said, you have to wonder if at the end of the day it’s all worthwhile.  After all we’ve managed to layer upon our celebration of the day and admittedly, in all that is often required by it, can it still be said of us that we’re honoring the origin and purpose of Thanksgiving Day; and perhaps even more importantly, is it still about true thanksgiving unto God?

It’s worth noting here that though our American celebration of Thanksgiving commemorates that storied feast of the Pilgrims at Plymouth Plantation in 1621, historically speaking it wasn’t the first in North America.  That distinction likely belongs to the members of an expedition to Newfoundland in 1578, who celebrated their survival from a series of vicious storms with a feast of “tinned beef and mushy peas” brought over from England (mmmm….).  History also records a celebration meal shared in Nova Scotia by European settlers and the indigenous people of the region in the early 1600’s; and there’s even a proclamation of a yearly “day of thanksgiving” following a safe landing at Jamestown, Virginia in 1619, several months before the Mayflower even set sail for the New World.  But regardless of the timing or circumstance, all these celebrations had at least one thing in common: the admonition to give prayerful thanks to God for the blessings of the harvest and, indeed, for life itself.  In the exhortation of an English preacher named Robert Wolfall, who was amongst that group of explorers in Newfoundland, they needed to be “thankefull to God for theyr strange and miraculous deliverance in those so dangerous places.”  That’s a conviction that continues to be expressed every year as “we gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing,” praying that in whatever form it might take in this particular generation “the wicked oppressing [might] now cease from distressing.”

So for us this act and celebration of thanksgiving does carry with it a long and austere tradition; but here’s the thing:  the desire of people to offer thanks to God goes back a lot further than that.  The example of giving thanks unto the Lord can be traced back to the very beginning of scripture; as far back as the story of Noah we hear about how after he emerge from the ark, the very first thing he did was to build “an altar to the LORD” (Genesis 8:20) for purposes of offering up a sacrifice of thanksgiving, thus establishing a tradition of giving thanks unto God.  In fact, there are at least 140 passages throughout scripture that call for God’s people to true thanksgiving, both individually and all together; giving thanks and praise to God as the giver of all our many blessings, and as the ultimate source of all goodness, the foundation of all that we have and all that we are.  And that story continues even now:  for God, you see, has always been the very heart of our story, yours and mine, and those of the families of which we are part; God is at the beginning of that story, God’s in the midst of every detail that’s unfolding as we speak, and God will be there at its conclusion.  And God’s presence through it all, is the supreme reminder of who we are, where we came from, all the many blessings that we share, and most importantly, of where those blessings came from… and the first and best reason for us to give thanks!

Which brings us to our text for this morning, from the Old Testament Book of Deuteronomy, in which Moses seeks to retell the story of God’s chosen and redeemed people, as well as about the need for worship, true thanksgiving and a the humble offering back unto the Lord. Now, the “back story” of this particular passage is that the people of Israel have been wandering in the wilderness for 40 years and are just about to enter the Promised Land; however, Moses is dying and knows that he will not have the privilege of entering into that land.  And so, quite literally on his deathbed, Moses tells the story of their long history in the care and presence of God, along with very specific instruction as a good and proper “act and attitude” of thanksgiving.  As we heard it read this morning, you know that it involves taking “some of the first of all the fruit of the ground,” putting it in the basket and going “to the place that your God will choose as a dwelling for his name,” handing it to the priest who in turn will set the offering on that altar of the Lord.  It’s all very ceremonial, and in the parlance of Biblical scholars very much part of the “priestly narrative” of some the Pentateuch, that is, the first five books of the Old Testament; and it’s still very much in keeping with our Christian liturgy and tradition even to this day.

But here’s the thing I want us to notice this morning: that all of this culminates in… a story; a story that’s meant to be shared and passed on.  When this offering of first fruits has been set upon the altar, says Moses, “you shall make this response before the LORD your God: ‘a wandering Aramean was my ancestor; he went down into Egypt and lived there as an alien, few in number, and there he became a great nation, mighty and populous.’”  This is your story, says Moses, and it is a story that needs to be told again and again and again; it must be shared because this is the story of how God brought his people – our ancestors, yours and mine together – safely from there to here, guided and cared for and blessed every step of the way.

And you’ll notice also that the story that Moses recounts is unflinching in its honesty, remembering the painful parts of the journey as well as its triumphs: their affliction and suffering at the hands of the Egyptians, the years of slavery and their cries to God for redemption.  Just as so many family stories will inevitably include a remembrance of some the most difficult times that family has faced, Moses here wants to be clear that true thanksgiving, in some way or another, acknowledges both the bitter and the sweet, understanding that it was the hardship of their journey that led them to even more fully appreciate the mighty hand of God, his “signs and wonders” and his deliverance of his people to “a land flowing with milk and honey.”  This, says Moses to the people of Israel, is your heritage, this is your blessing, and this is who you and whose you are; and for this reason, you are to give thanks, make your offering and with all those who reside among you, friend and stranger alike, “celebrate with all the bounty that the LORD your God has given to you and to your house.”

And that, dear friends, is what Thanksgiving is all about.  It’s all about our story: yours, mine and God.

I love what the Rev. W. Dennis Tucker, Jr., of Truett Seminary of Baylor University, says about this: “Simply put,” he writes, “gratitude is rarely confined to the present moment.  More often than not the present moment is the culmination of ‘givings’ all along the way – sometimes being delivered to something and sometimes from something… the fruitfulness of the present [is rooted] with the faithfulness of God all along.”  I like that; Tucker’s words serve as a reminder to me that the act and attitude of thanksgiving, as well as to the matter at hand, our celebration of “Turkey Day” this Thursday, must involve more than just a cursory moment of grace for good food and fellowship, spoken quickly before the food gets cold!  Certainly we should be thankful for “health and strength and daily bread,” just as we ought to be happy for family and friends who have gathered around the table with us and for the countless gifts of love that are ours in the here and now.  But we also need to be aware and truly thankful for all the gifts that have come to us along the way: for the lessons learned over time and across generations, and the inheritance left us from those family members and friends – the saints of this and every generation – who have helped to make us who we are; for the experiences of life that have helped us to grow and persons and as a people, for love and laughter and wonder, and even for the difficulties of life and living we’ve been forced to face which have given us strength and understanding for the living of these days; as well as for the untold blessings of freedom and the fullness of bounty that is ours as a nation and as a people.

For all these gifts given along the way from generation to generation we give thanks and praise… but most of all, we give thanks to the one who is the true source of all good gifts around us, the ones, as the song says, are “sent from heaven above,” the ones that which “the LORD your God has given to you and to your house.”

So have a wonderful day this Thursday, friends!  Have a great time with your family or with your friends, eat lots of turkey and stuffing (I know I will!) and if you can, make sure you take the time to visit and sit around the table and tell the good stories… again!  Have fun; and as you do, remember just who you are and where you came from… take some time to remember the many blessings you share – speak them aloud, because that’s always a good thing to do – but most importantly, let us all remember where those gifts, the ones for today and the ones along the way, actually came from…

… and may our thanks be to God!

Amen and AMEN!

 

© 2019  Rev. Michael W. Lowry

 

Tags: ,

 
%d bloggers like this: