As I rationalized my disappointment about Thanksgiving just not being right this year, I took solace in the fact that at least I would get to watch the Steelers play football on Thursday night. Hmmm, so goes 2020. As the darkness of these days continues to increase, I am listening carefully to the voices within our congregation that yearn for an end to all of this, for a return to active fellowship and to be able to join together for live worship. Sonia Wagner just wrote in a text that an article in the NY Times states that in the past 14 days in New Jersey, there has been a 12% increase in COVID cases, a 58% increase in COVID deaths and a 50% increase in hospitalizations. She goes on to say we as a church fellowship need to continue to minister to people who are craving in-person contact without putting them at unnecessary risk of illness.As we all struggle to get through these days, I urge you to turn toward your faith and seek God’s wisdom and the peace that surpasses all our understanding. We have made an Advent devotional guide available on the church website from a Presbyterian publication called Outlook. Drew McCrosson has sent many of our members the devotional guide for the entire season via an email this past week. We are social by our very nature (Socrates). Our faith is not about individual salvation, but about a blessed community. Isaiah 40, our text for this Sunday, states that “we shall see God’s salvation together!”. Don’t try to make this journey on your own. Reach out to other members if the strain and stress is getting to be just too much!
A friend sent me a familiar poem by Howard Thurman
(please…look him up!)I will light candles this ChristmasCandles of joy despite all the sadness,Candles of hope where despair keeps watch,Candles of courage for fear ever present,Candles of peace for tempest-tossed days,Candles of grace to ease heavy burdens,Candles of love to inspire all my living…Candles that will burn all year long!(For another Advent Devotional…go to pcusa.org/2020advent)
WE HAVE A DEVOTIONAL GUIDE FOR ADVENT AVAILABLE ON LINE OR IN PRINT, PLEASE LET US KNOW HOW YOU WANT TO ACCESS THIS RESOURCE!Christmas Eve Labyrinth of LightAt the Community Presbyterian Church of Brigantine back-lawn5pm to 9pm, December 24th, 2020Online worship at 5pm and livestream 11pm Candlelit Servicewww.brigchurch.org(Masks and social distancing required)