Colleen and I returned home Sunday evening after a wonderful trip that we had postponed for a year. I was able to watch last Sunday’s service online upon our return, and it made be proud and grateful for our church. We have many gifted people here at Grace, and the Holy Spirit is alive in this place. On this Thanksgiving weekend, this is something to celebrate!
Regarding travel, Mark Twain once said, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” There is so much truth in this statement. So if you are working on a gratitude list this Thanksgiving, I recommend giving thanks to God if you have opportunities to travel. Meeting people from different parts of the world, who speak different languages and have different customs and perspectives remind us of the beautiful, messy tapestry that God created when he made humanity in His image.
This Sunday, November 26, here at Grace we are starting the Advent season a week early. We are doing this so that we can have the full series of Advent messages while still making time for our cantata on December 17. The scripture passages for Sunday are Isaiah 9:6 and Mark 13: 24-37. I am preparing a message entitled “Heaven on Earth: Keep Watching.” I encourage you to read these Advent passages before worship Sunday, and to pray specifically that God shows us the gospel through the lens of the passage from Mark 13.
If you are traveling for Thanksgiving, I pray that you and your family watch for and recognize God’s kingdom in the midst of your gatherings. May we all experience the meaning of “Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place” as give thanks this year.
I look forward to seeing you in worship this Sunday! Please invite someone who does not have a church home. The Good News of Jesus is meant to be shared, all the time!