Community in Action October 21, 2020

Is it Fall yet? It sure seems like the weather can’t make up its mind. A nice cool week with crisp clear mornings and then a heat wave comes through in the nineties again. Well I just couldn’t wait to do some planting. Even though I am still getting a cucumber or two and I just pulled up the tomato plants and the yellow zucchini plants which were no longer producing I decided it was time to put in some kale, sage, and artichokes.

    I will wait a couple of weeks before I add broccoli, which seems to always do well in the soil and place I plant it. Maybe I will get some yellow cauliflower or some purple cabbage also, I am not sure. The location I have the garden seems to do best with winter gardens.

    I am also excited not just about winter gardens, but also about winter worship. The harvest theme is one that harkens back to the Jewish festival of Sukkot or the Feast of the Tabernacles. It is the final harvest festival. It was one that celebrates God’s provision through the whole year.

    I don’t think it is coincidence that our Thanksgiving celebration happens around this time also. Nor do I think that our Stewardship drive as we plan for next year’s budget is coincidentally placed at this time as well.

    You see our planning and pledging toward our 2021 budget should come out of our gratitude for God’s provision for the entire year. Provision? You say. This unprecedented year which has brought for many not just economic hardship, but social hardship. I think we have learned the importance of being more concerned about our community, about caring for others as we still struggle keeping our masks on and our distance from each other and our lack of participation in the public activities, like concerts, movies, gatherings in the park.

    Yes, there has been hardship, and still is, but I also have experienced the love and care of people around me. I have seen, heard, and read of amazing giftings to others. Sometimes it comes in financial gifts, like large tips or presents for people we want to honor. I have been inspired by people coming up with creative ways to brighten other peoples lives, sometimes even strangers lives. Others have done a neighbors yard work or participated in a food drive or clothing drive or maybe even a birthday drive-by.

    All this reminds me that God has given us the capacity for living through “unprecedented times.’ God has called us to be ‘co-creators” when all seems dark and dreary. When it seems there is no inkling of light or joy, we are able to be inspired and inspire others through actions and words that bring life to our lives.

    It is like a winter garden in some ways. As the days get darker and the evenings get colder we still can sow hardy plants and put in weather resistant bushes and stalwart trees. Even when the future looks like it will only get worse we have a hope within us that no storm can dampen.

    So as you move into the winter time. As you miss those normal rituals or gatherings you used to have to brighten your days, ask God to give you a new view. Let us remember that we are moving very soon into the season of waiting, the season which builds slowly, but the season which will bring us great joy, the season of Advent.

    Looking forward to celebrating the light that overcomes the darkness with you,

    Pastor Randy

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