Peace – Prayer – Joy – Love
Giving Thanks

Making Way For Gratitude

  1. Are You Buddy The Retail Elf Or A Grinchy Scrooge?
    1. How do you feel about Christmas music & deco before Thanksgiving?
      1. Are you diving in and relishing the music & decorations already?
      2. Are you fighting back against the season’s expansion creep?
    2. Our house is divided.
      1. Claire will have none of it and claims to not even like any of it.
      2. Katie is all in; even wore a new twinkling light outfit yesterday.
    3. Some people don’t have a choice; professional planning ahead.
      1. Retail planning began a long time ago; finally get “in the black.”
      2. Ministry planning has to start before Thanksgiving & Advent.
  2. Setting The Stage Long Before Opening Night
    1. As in theater, much planning & effort is invested long before the show.
      1. Casting & rehearsal & construction all begin weeks before hand.
      2. I keep thinking to get involved, but I keep finding myself behind.
      3. Who else puts weeks of preparation in ahead of the main event?
    2. Advent is two weeks away; it is a season of anticipation & preparation.
      1. Setting up Christmas while we prepare for CL Thanksgiving meal.
      2. My family even does Thanksmas/Christgiving for my parents sake.
      3. We’re stepping onto a path together w/our Bible Study Groups.
    3. Four Gospel writers choose distinct places to begin the Good News.
      1. Mark (1st) sets up with John in the wilderness & baptizing Jesus.
      2. John is similar, except he sets up before the beginning of time.
      3. Matthew is familiar, setting up with the genealogy & birth of Jesus.
      4. Luke does the most set up with foretelling of John & Jesus’ births.
  3. It’s Like Everyone Preparing For Our Craft Bazaar
    1. Luke is like all of our crafters who were working toward the Bazaar.
      1. Katie & Betty celebrated winning a beautiful afghan yesterday.
      2. The Purls spent hours & hours working toward a joyful moment.
    2. Luke is like a theater troupe setting the stage for the big performance.
      1. Theophilus & Zechariah & Elizabeth & Gabriel; all opening players.
      2. The Temple & Jerusalem & 1stcentury Israel; make up the setting.
    3. The point of preparation (Advent) is the most significant event ever!
      1. An event foretold for thousands of years; since Genesis 3.
      2. An event more profound than any human event before it.
      3. An event no less than God-self entering into our human reality.
  4. Experiencing Good News In Luke’s Gospel Prologue
    1. Luke invites Theophilus into transcendent reality. This is no mythology!
    2. Gabriel invites Zechariah & Elizabeth into a story of restoration/dignity!
    3. God re-invites all of humanity back into a dialogue & journey; and makes the trip all the way here to restore our redemptive relationship!
  5. Maybe Starting Advent at Thanksgiving Is Maybe Okay
    1. Luke’s Gospel prologue sets the stage for amazing divine grace.
    2. Gratitude is really the only appropriate response to divine grace.
    3. There is a place for each of us in this great narrative of divine grace.
      1. Even if we’re Elizabeth; waiting a lifetime for God to answer us.
      2. Even if we’re Zechariah; beginning to doubt that God hears & can.
      3. Even if we’re Theophilus; finding ourselves w questions to answer.
    4. So, as we all take time to pause and count all that we are thankful for, let us also remember what we’re looking forward to; Christ is coming.

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