NOTE FROM PASTOR J R FOR SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 2022
Sunday is the 12th Sunday of Kingdomtide, next to last Sunday of the liturgical church year. The scripture from II Corinthians 9 being used, speaks to priorities. Thanksgiving is almost upon us. I’m amazed, but not surprised how Christmas has infringed upon and overtaken Thanksgiving. Black Friday shopping, now, starts on Thanksgiving evening. I’m already being inundated with teases to try and get me to make purchases now at Black Friday prices.
Growing up, “Thanksgiving” and “Christmas” were 2 distinctive celebrations at our house. There was a lot of intentionality in how we observed Thanksgiving that made it special. The evening of “Thanksgiving” after the great feast and clean-up, while still assembled as a family, we drew names to see whose Christmas gift for which we would be responsible. If someone was not present, Mama and Daddy drew names in privacy with only the 2 of them knowing who got whose name. But this nod to Christmas only came after the Thanksgiving events were finished. Being fully present for “Thanksgiving,” was very important to my parents before turning any attention to Christmas. The giving to others came after the thanksgiving, together, with God as a family.
Perhaps there is a spiritual lesson to be learned from the way my parents observed these two holidays. Just as “Thanksgiving” comes before “Christmas,” the spiritual feast represented by the Bread and Cup, we call Holy Communion, prepares us a wholesome journey of faith and giving to others. And II Corinthians 9 tells us that growing our faith and being generous with God opens the door for God to provide us with the ability to be generous with others and in every other way.
Join us for worship, in-person, by Zoom or Livestream, for a word from Minister Carrole Moss, Generosity Chair, UCC Southeast Conference. And my sermon will be “From the Bread and Cup to Faith and Giving,” based on “II Corinthians 9:5b-12.”