Hope Lutheran Church, Seattle, Washington (West Seattle)
The 4 Sundays ahead of Christmas are the Sundays of Advent, preparing to celebrate Emmanuel — God getting into the planet in the type of a infant boy. Generally, the very first Sunday of Advent will be the Sunday of the lengthy Thanksgiving weekend, so there’s no breathing space among these two holidays (definitely, Holy Days). But this is one particular of these years when the Sundays of Advent start a complete week just after Thanksgiving weekend. Even improved, they all fall in December (so every single Advent calendar demands much less explanation).
Pastor Peter Mueller created a point on Sunday morning at Hope Lutheran — this was an chance to take a deeper dive into Thanksgiving.
Not that Christmas went unmentioned in the early worship service. A couple of distinct possibilities for decorating the church have been announced. There was a different announcement about the church’s Providing Tree in the lobby. Folks have been encouraged to take a tag with a kid or senior citizen’s present wishes (subsequent Sunday was the final possibility to get a name). There was but a different Christmas announcement (although it wasn’t the final announcement) about a Television system, The Good Christmas Light Fight, on ABC Monday evening. It is a reality show featuring households who elaborately decorate their houses for Christmas. The episode was filmed final year at the residence of a household from the church (and other people from the church have been filmed as properly).
But the major announcement wasn’t about Yuletide. Julie Hill had been scheduled to speak that morning about an all-volunteer, nonprofit ministry, but she was sick and couldn’t come. So Erin, a lady from the church, came forward with a short announcement about The Living Water Project, which seeks to demonstrate God’s enjoy by funding clean water projects. The most fascinating aspect of Erin’s announcement was that a group from the church was arranging to perform in Central America or Africa, assisting a church deliver clean water for their neighborhood. I enjoy when churches do this sort of factor.
The Scripture for the day was a incredibly Thanksgivingy passage, Luke 17: 11 – 19. It is the story of the ten lepers who went to see Jesus. Jesus healed them all, but only one particular, a Samaritan, returns to thank Him. With the title “Being Mindful of Our Blessings,” Pastor Mueller focused on our have to have for gratitude. “It is uncomplicated for us to neglect the fine art of providing thanks to God.”
He proposed that one particular of the obstacles to gratefulness is our rushed way of life. He quoted Dallas Willard’s injunction, “Ruthlessly get rid of hurry from your life.” This is probably even far more vital at this time of year when vacation obligations can make us far more hurried than ever. If we slow down, we can be far more mindful of our blessings.
Pastor Mueller recommended 4 actions to pursue a life of gratitude:
He recommended thanking God to a ridiculous extent. He recommended thanking God for the truth that you do not just have mustard in your fridge, you have 3 sorts of mustard. Thank God for that, and for all the individuals that make mustard feasible. (I do have an affinity for mustard.)
In the pastor’s prayer, he thanked God for the actually vital issues. “Thank you, God, for the possibilities to share your enjoy in this neighborhood and about the planet.” I’m thankful for this time (ahead of Christmas), for Hope Lutheran, and for God’s perform in this congregation.