First snow

Woke up to snow this morning. It wasn’t much, really. About an inch. It was refreshing. It was beautiful laying across the top of the stable in the glow of the street lamp. The world was very quiet; the air was crisp. Oh, I know! I was never a big fan of snow, which is why I am surprised about my feelings of this first Advent snow. Usually, I’d groan from my head to my toes. There may be more of this white stuff to come, once winter arrives. We will see how I feel about it then. But for today, I consider it a gift.

St. Thomas UCC, Bethlehem, worship audio 1128 –

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1wTvQCITFt8hYOTmzRPCKNVrYAU36Oreb/view?usp=sharing

The day

The morning sun broke the horizon,

Signaling the start of a brand new day –

‘Here I am, Lord!’ I shout to the heavens,

Transform me, re-form me, to only your way!

I am inclining my ear, Lord,

To listen clearly; to see with blind eyes –

Whate’er it is, I know you will lead me,

You are Almighty, Lord of Lords, and All-Wise.

St. Thomas UCC, Bethlehem worship audio 112121-

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1f1vXN8dIfIAg4vMU5wgbQn15qmfQJIHS/view?usp=sharing

Lord, hear my prayer

My early morning habits did not change today, just because the temperature dipped below 30 degrees. I braved the chilly temp and sat on the patio, clinging to a cup of hot tea and wrapped in a blanket. The world around me was still, peaceful and very quiet. It was so quiet and still, that I imagined my prayers were able to speed race to God’s ears. They did not have to cut through any noise or dancing tree branches to the tune of the wind or a choir of singing birds. Just an early morning thought.

St. Thomas UCC, Bethlehem audio worship 111421 –

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Qxb0GP19grC1wvqUbkq0aU3sTf3uBNma/view?usp=sharing

Fall, Faith, Football

Today is a glorious fall day, one where many things can be threaded together. The day began with gathering for worship. This afternoon holds abundant sunlight it its arms with a crispness in the air – terrific fall weather. And if you want some exercise, there is lots of space in the backyard to play a game of touch football with the grandkids (Or if you’d rather watch football on TV)! Enjoy!

St. Thomas UCC, BEthlehem worship audio 110721

https://drive.google.com/file/d/19jlCr6fY8dIrha8Kv_fFvEDZMkpT-Ip0/view?usp=sharing

Memories

Time passes by….one day, one week, one month, one year roll into one another. At any moment turns into thousands of moments that have now created a memory. Summer, winter, spring and fall repeats the pattern of these seasons time and again. In any of these times or seasons, God meets us there. What moment is your memory today? Time with a loved one? An afternoon with a friend? Helping a stranger?

Worship service audio St. Thomas UCC, Bethlehem 103121 –


https://drive.google.com/file/d/1U5Nc4X2MjYijAowztK98SBmZr0rHolkp/view?usp=sharing

Seems easy

While my type of blindness does not leave me totally in the dark, there are times when I cry out to God, ask for mercy, and ask ‘that I may see’. In Mark’s story where the blind beggar Batimaeus receives his sight, Mark makes the healing seem so easy. We know that the faith Bartimaeus embraced was grounded in the mercy of Jesus. We know that faith, the consistent, persistent, enduring kind of faith, can annihilate barriers. We also know that the type of blindness Bartimaeus experienced was a metaphor for spiritual blindness.

Still, in spite of knowing these things, there are times when I long for my sight to be restored,

St. Thomas UCC, Bethlehem audio worship 10/24 –

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1LOLGpR1VluWEhL_LWnVlkRaa5Jfb0pY0/view?usp=sharing

Sacred Silence

“Hello darkness, my old friend, I’ve come to talk to you again…” (The Sound of Silence lyrics
copyright Paul Simon Music) Years ago, part of an English literature class was to interpret song lyrics. For one of those assignments, I selected The Sound of Silence. I know the lyrics were not intended to mean what I am about to say, but back in 1966 when I first heard it, I was 11 years old. What was important to me in 1966 was God, and I was connecting everything in my life to God. When I heard the opening lyrics, I interpreted the words as though someone was befriending the darkness to pray – that is where God could be found. Moreover, one obviously met God there frequently, because of the word ‘again’. The darkness was a safe place where one could talk freely to God with no worries. Of course, these were only the journaled thoughts of an 11-year-old child.

Sometimes, we need to seek silence, day or night, to meet God there. In the sacred silence, God is with us, creating our faith.

St. Thomas UCC, Bethlehem worship audio 101021 –

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1frfDMlryx3BQuQRERlg3ekE75s6TpJFe/view?usp=sharing