I like the second definition of “impact” found in the Oxford dictionary (online): “have a strong effect on someone or something.” Merriam-Webster says it this way: “to impinge or make contact especially forcefully.” This one I do not like as much because impinge generally implies a negative effect, and I am thinking of impact in a positive way. For the same reason neither pushy nor forceful work either. Yet somehow I am sensing that the Spirit of our God was active in this way in my life on a pretty constant basis over this past week.
Adapted from the Advent Carol Service used at St. Paul’s Cathedral in England, today’s service is part of a long tradition of vivid Advent services whose purpose is to help us as we prepare for the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, and for his coming again in glory. Much of the service is drawn from ancient sources. Some of the images have been used from the beginnings of Israel, through the period of the New Testament, through the Middle Ages to the present day. Every age has found in them a new richness through which God’s continuous mercy, revealed most dramatically in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, can be seen.
Our Primary Prayer focus for this week is upon Christ’s people on earth: For the Holy Spirit to be at work enriching faith through our worship Gatherings in those in our sanctuary as well as those joining us online.
So, what comes to your mind when you hear the initials P.T.? Is it possibly Post Thanksgiving living? Perhaps you are a grammarian, and your mind goes to Past Tense. If you are a Leonard Cohen aficionado, “Passing Through” may be stuck in your head. Some in the employment world are thinking Part Time. And those connected in any way to the healthcare industry are most likely focused upon Physical Therapy (not to be confused with O.T. or counseling).
Remember to stop by the Giving Tree in the west entrance and select a card for a person who needs you to share Christ’s love this season. The cards are for our Great Start Readiness Program Preschool – 18 children and 25 children from Evergreen Lutheran Church & School in Detroit. Please follow the directions on the table for each card selected. Gifts must be back at the church by December 17!
Almighty and everlasting God, increase in us the gifts of faith, hope, and charity; and, that we may obtain what you promise, make us love what you command; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
I am thankful for dalmatians, dominoes, and dixie cups. I am thankful for downtowns, driveways, and dentists. I am thankful for Decembers, decimals, and decorations. And one might say that this covers my 3-D Thanks – squared. But my mind is going in a definitely different direction (oh, those 3-D’s!). I am thankful for the unknown caller from “BC” who buzzed me while writing this … particularly because she left a message to explain the purpose of her call (I might even call her back). However, as I said – or at least tried to imply – my focus this morning is broader than any of these short lists … my 3-D Thanks has me thanking my God and Savior for my past … my present … and my future.
For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. So also he who had the two talents made two talents more.
Woe to you who desire the day of the LORD! Why would you have the day of the LORD? It is darkness, and not light, as if a man fled from a lion, and a bear met him, or went into the house and leaned his hand against the wall, and a serpent bit him. Is not the day of the LORD darkness, and not light, and gloom with no brightness in it? “I hate, I despise your feasts, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies. Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them; and the peace offerings of your fattened animals, I will not look upon them. Take away from me the noise of your songs; to the melody of your harps I will not listen. But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.”