Monday night the Worship Team spent time evaluating our worshipful experiences through Advent and Christmas, including Sunday’s Epiphany celebration. Among the critiques, evaluations, reflections and suggestions we were able to affirm that God is truly faithful to us as we gathered to worship!
Highlights included: all the amazing music from the choir, member and guest musicians, and the Band; the still-inspiring children’s Christmas pageant with all of the energy and creativity of adults, families and children alike (who want to not be named, but who need to know our gratitude for their gifts!), the beautiful Cantata, candlelight and Silent Night, fellowship and Advent activities, and many opportunities for reaching out with food, gifts of food, time, service, sharing, yummy treats and beautiful decorations and heartfelt praise. Each highlight reminded us and teaches us still that we are blessed and loved by God who is faithful in all things, especially the holy chaos that is the Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany seasons!
As we continue in the season of Epiphany, which focuses on the light of God that entered the world in the person of Jesus Christ, our eyes are still drawn to that light, and it is the light of Christ’s love that enables us to see hope and possibilities that God places before, around and among us.
This week in worship, we will celebrate the Baptism of The Lord with a renewal of Baptism and the sacrament of The Lord’s Supper. The lessons of Scripture for this Sunday are: Isaiah 43:1-7, containing words of promise and assurance from God through the writings of Isaiah; and Luke 3:15-17, 21-22, in which Luke gives an account of John’s ministry of baptism, and the extraordinary circumstances at Jesus’ baptism.
Wherever God leads you, I hope you remember how very much you are loved, and that you are able to see glimpses of God’s presence in the least expected circumstances. Continue to be the church!
Pastor Chuck Goodman has been pastor at Hope for nearly ten years. He writes each week about what's on his mind, giving readers something to meditate on until and beyond Sunday.