In the days following Christmas, I found myself worshipping at the church I grew up in in South Whitehall township. The occasion was the funeral of my Great Uncle, and the morning’s message was given by the church’s founding pastor, who’d known my uncle for almost 60 years.
In some ways, it was strange to be confronted with death in the midst of the Christmas season, but in other ways, it felt comforting and appropriate to know that my uncle had received the best gift God has to offer: passage into God’s very presence, a God made known to us so fully in the Christmas story. Building on the theme of gifts at Christmas, the pastor said that there are two gifts God has for us especially in mourning: the gift of memory, and the gift of hope.
I got to thinking about how those gifts, memory and hope, are especially important as another year ends and we look forward to the possibilities of 2019. This new year marks our 250th anniversary as a church of Jesus Christ, an amazing testimony to the possibilities of the gifts of fond memories of the past and exciting hopes for the future.
This Sunday is, according to the famous song, “the 5th day of Christmas.” Instead of five golden rings, we’ll be thinking about two gifts in particular, the gift of memory as we mark the end of 2018, and the gift of hope as we enter into a new year full of new possibilities for our lives, our families, and our church.
Please join us this Sunday, December 30 at 10 AM for the last worship service of the calendar year.
Our dynamic Sunday School program meets at 9AM in the Social Hall, and adults are invited, as always, for Coffee and Conversation in that hour as well. Please join us!
On January 6, the first Sunday of 2019, we’ll be welcoming new members and celebrating Holy Communion in the 10 AM worship hour. On January 13, we will be welcoming and officially installing our Church Council for 2019.
May God richly bless you now and always!