Texts: Isaiah 64:1-9; 1 Corinthians 1:3-9; Mark 13:24-27
Worst. Year. Ever. Right? We’re on the countdown to the end of 2020 now, and that end cannot come soon enough for most people. We’ve seen things this year we all hope never to see again.
Pastoral Reflection, The First Week of Advent, Our 36th Week in Official Pandemic Status — November 27, 2020
The Lighting of the Town happened in Friday Harbor this year by stealth. There was no Friday-after-Thanksgiving early evening mass gathering at the foot of Spring Street. (Everyone knows that’s not allowed right now.) No switch was thrown to cheers and applause. Instead it seems like there was just a gradual process of lights coming on.
Texts: Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24; Ephesians 1:15-23; Matthew 25:31-46
Lots of people are contemplating a quiet Thanksgiving this year, and not by choice. From talking with folks I know that even those who do gather will keep it very small, under the pandemic guidelines. I’m so grateful for the island community groups that will be cooking and providing free dinners to anyone who wants one regardless of need. For anyone who will be alone, at least it’s a way of feeling like you’re still part of a community.
It’s been a tough week, it’s true. We have done a good job in these islands minimizing the effect of the virus. But just now it’s not safe for people to come here without testing and quarantining, and going off island isn’t recommended either except for necessary things like medical appointments. (Costco feels pretty necessary to me, but I’m working on correcting that notion in my head.)
Many years ago there was a church in a small town in the Midwest, surrounded by farms. The congregation, of course, was populated primarily by farm families. These were traditional farms that raised some livestock and grew vegetables. However grain was their principal cash crop.
It seems like this is a really important time to remember the goodness of our lives. To spend some time reflecting on what we have now, what we have had, and what we will have again when this is over. We are blessed. You know that right?
November is the time when our bible readings are all about the return of Jesus Christ in power and glory. It is a time of uncertainty and waiting. The themes are both dire and hopeful. They never lose their currency though, because isn’t life itself both terrifying and wonderful?
Texts: Revelation 7:9-17; 1 John 3:1-3; Matthew 5:1-12
Years ago…oh, it was a long time ago. Back in my tour bus driving days in Alaska. The tour company dispatcher used to assign me quite regularly to a tour of the Colony farms of the Matanuska Valley some forty minutes outside of Anchorage.
Tomorrow will be All Hallow’s Eve. Old English rendered it as Halloween. Or, as it’s called in Spanish-speaking areas, Dia de los Muertos – the Day of the Dead.
Texts: Jeremiah 31:31-34; Psalm 46; Romans 3:19-28; John 8:31-36
It’s a strange thing. For all intents and purposes Israel was over and Judah was well on the way toward utter destruction when Jeremiah was given a surprisingly hopeful prophecy from God. “I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah.”
The Rev. Beth Purdum Eden is an ordained minister in the Evangelical Lutheran Church. She has served in more than 6 parishes in the Western United States for 30 years.