Reading: Colossians 1:11-14 "May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins."
Reflection: Recently I have been trying a lot of different kinds of exercise just to stay active and keep moving. I love running, but sometimes I need a change. So the other day I went back to something I haven't done in years, but remember with great fondness: ballet.
I joined the State Ballet of Missouri (now The Kansas City Ballet) when I was in 3rd grade and danced through my middle school years, sometimes six days a week. (My parents were saints and drove me to downtown KC ALL the time!) I remember a lot of the terminology from my time there, lots of technique and have many great memories, but I haven't put it into use in about 15 years.
My work-out was ROUGH. I knew all the right places my feet SHOULD be, but they didn't always go there at first. I knew what my posture was supposed to do, but I have no idea how I did that 15 years ago.
Recently you may have heard that Thanksgiving is “dead.” Many retailers that formerly would not have dared open on Thanksgiving are now opening at 6am to sell, sell, sell as the official Christmas shopping season gets underway. Some people are saying that this, specifically Macy's opening its doors, is the death of Thanksgiving.
Colossians 1 reminds us that Christ has given us strength to endure (sometimes a lot) with patience as we give thanks to God in all we do. It's not that we give thanks after we have endured something difficult, it's that it is second nature to give thanks while we endure with patience. It may take some practice, and the practice might be difficult or rough. We may even forget a few steps in the process, but the exercise of giving thanks is always there, deep inside us, and difficult to forget.
Society may take a hiatus from the Thanksgiving holiday while they open their doors for “Christmas” shopping, the way I took a 15 year break from ballet. But we know that the Thanksgiving federal holiday on the 4th Thursday in November is not the only thing that prompts thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is such a part of us; it is so ingrained in us that it will never "die." We too may take a break, and our muscles may ache as we step into that first position as we remember back. But our muscles do remember, and we remember, because it is second nature.
You are invited to come worship with us this Sunday as we continue to think about both thanksgiving and Thanksgiving.
We also invite you to come participate in our “Better Than Black Friday” event on Friday, November 29. As an alternative to the rush and spending of Black Friday, we will celebrate the season with a FREE community meal. You are invited to volunteer, to bring a pot of soup, or to come join us if you are looking for community.
No matter where you are, you are invited here. Won’t you join us?