In an odd joining of two church events, we are entering into the season of Advent, the season of preparation for celebrating Jesus' coming to our world at Christmas, while at the same time lifting up our stewardship emphasis for the coming 2010 year of ministry here at Trinity Lutheran. Odd, but fitting, I think.
The scripture lessons for the season of Advent are all over the place from a time-line point of view: they look at the distant past and recall the ancient prophecies given to bring God's people hope in God's faithfulness as they struggled with the difficulties of becoming God's people in a hostile time; they look at the distant future (or maybe even not-distant future - who knows?), as we await for Jesus' return and ultimate and final victory over the darkness of our world; and in the world today the scripture lessons call us to be alert and ready to give and receive grace and forgiveness in our daily lives.
It occurs to me as I am working on Advent messages and themes alongside the stewardship program (and a dozen other things at the same time) that Christian stewardship has many of those same elements: We recall God's past promises and faithfulness to us; we look forward to a life in him that is free from the trials and tribulations of this age; and we strive to live faithfully today - in the "right now."
There is something in the ELCA's stewardship emphasis for this year, called "Make it Simple," that resonates with me as I meditate and pray about ministry for this coming year. Simple, basic, foundational ministry - a time of simple but radical rethinking about our ministry is called for... not just because of the economics of the day, but because our church is changing. Or is it that it needs to change to follow the leading of God's Spirit in faithfulness to our call as Trinity Lutheran?
We'll explore these themes together - THIS COMING SATURDAY, December 5th at 5 pm. Join us for a potluck dinner and some discussion. This is a really important yearly meeting. I look forward to seeing you there!
New Member Class: A reminder... our next new member class meets this coming Sunday, December 6th at 2 pm in the AMC Fireside room. Please contact the church office if you plan to attend.
Blessings and peace,
Pastor Lawrence Becker