I am a very lucky person. I have the privilege of getting to wake up and “go to work” in a place I love. There are many that can say that and many more that would like to say that but cannot. But do you know what makes my heart beat, especially in regards to this community of faith? The way I see so many offering Christ-like love in the ways they go about their day. From mentoring youth, teaching children, and checking in on a neighbor. But there’s sharing meals, doing little things like picking up trash along Moreland, offering kind words to strangers, attending high school musicals and football games, and offering challenging words to help us consider our faith at a deeper level. This kind of example inspires to deeper commitment and service. I hope each of us realize how much what we do as individuals and a community inspires others.
Along the lines of stewardship, I have always found it a serendipitous coincidence that many churches, including our own, have our stewardship emphasis coincide with All Saints’ Day and Thanksgiving, one a religious holiday and the other a secular holiday that resonate with similar overtones. For All-Saints’ we are called to give thanks for those who have gone before, leaving a powerful witness and a wonderful legacy that we get to live into and pass on to subsequent generations. Likewise, Thanksgiving is a wonderful time when we are actually given permission (well, as much permission as a national holiday allows) to take time off to reflect upon all the many ways our lives have been graced. And while there’s a temptation to look at Thanksgiving with rose-colored glasses, I do find it educative that Lincoln declared Thanksgiving in the midst of Civil War. Life might not always be good, but there is room for giving thanks.
As you and your family consider how to support the ministries of this church in 2013, I encourage you to spend time in prayer, not only considering what makes your heart beat for this community but how has God blessed your life in this year and what would be an appropriate way to say thank you.