Welcome to the Monday Mailing #36 –
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame,
and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2
There has been great angst these last few weeks – how are we to gather together, like we always do, to celebrate Thanksgiving?
By now you have made your decisions and plans. Your preparations, for whatever type of celebration you have decided to have, are begun. I am not going to chastise you, or remind you of the things we have been saying to one another for 8+ months. Instead, I invite you to think about giving thanks.
Give thanks to God for those who have gone before you, and who have given you the opportunities you have. For many of us, this is white privilege, plain and simple. But consider those who went before you – feet of clay, and all. They could not imagine our lives, and while I do research into my families, I wonder what they would think of the single, female, cat-loving Presbyterian Pastor they gave birth to. I am thankful for their wanderlust, faithfulness, and even feet of clay.
Give thanks to God for those who have led you in the ways of faith over the years. Ruth Nighswonger was the music director at First Presbyterian, Santa Rosa, CA and led the Carol Choir (elementary school) . . . she taught us. . .taught me, to make a joyful noise to the Lord, and just what it meant to struggle through adversity. I remember her taking off her wig one Wednesday afternoon to show us her bald head – a result of the chemo treatments she was enduring. Charmi Cressy was the minister mentor who was “God’s 2X4″ for so many of us. I did get up off my butt and to seminary where she told me God wanted me. Woody, Cheryl, Byron, Cynthia, Barb, Bill, Wade, Roger, Mark. . . .colleagues and friends who, over the years, have shown God’s love and guided me in God’s paths. . .
This Thanksgiving. . .as we gather in ways that seem so different, so strange to us. . .give thanks for those who have gone before you. . .made a place for you. . .upheld you in the love of God in Christ . . .and give thanks. As we gather, remember that you are setting the example for so many others. . .may your thankful witness be ever faithful.
With great thanksgiving, and lots of peace –
to share joys and concerns before Sunday worship.