3 December 2020
I have been reflecting a great deal on our Advent and message subject of the week, Peace. This morning, when I awoke early to enjoy my first cup of coffee, an Aldi brand Gingerbread brew, I found peace as I looked past our newly decorated Christmas tree into the earliest light of dawn as it began to reveal the silhouettes of trees in our backyard. This is the time of day that I find it easiest to experience “peace.” My mind and thoughts have not yet engaged with the memories of yesterday nor have they started to look forward to what may transpire on this day. The house is dark, except for the lights of the Christmas tree. This morning I took particular notice to the “halo” of light that outlined the angel on the top of the tree as the light in which she is holding created a luminescent glow on her face. Peace.
After a period of time and a half cup of coffee, I decided to turn on the TV to check out the weather and any associated headlines that I need to be aware of that may be a factor in decisions that will be made later on this day. The typical talking heads appeared with the click of the remote and their incessant drone began to break the silence that I had been enjoying. It was only moments until I could feel the tension begin to build in my temples and I realized that I was beginning to grit my teeth a bit. As I looked away from the screen toward the Christmas tree, the peace that it represented only moments ago, seemed to be fading, the light on the angel’s face no longer seemed to reflect the light as it had when all was quiet in my space.
I decided to turn off the TV to see if I could once again enjoy the moments in which my day began. Although the quiet of the house returned, I could no longer clear my mind from what the screen had introduced to it- I had quiet, yet not peace. As I reflected on this turn of events, it became obvious to me that when it was just me and God, I experienced peace. And it wasn’t even a conscious thought-just a wonderful moment of enjoying this space I was in, enjoying the thoughts of my family who only hours ago had laughed and enjoyed the fellowship of decorating the tree, finding a reverent joy in the outline of the trees against the blues of the earliest morning light, and simply seeing a simple elegance in how the face of the tree angel had a distinct glow.
It was only when I introduced “the world” with the enticing draw of the television newsfeed, that this all disappeared. John 16:33 quotes Jesus’s statement, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” My takeaway from these musings of my mind is that I need to ensure that I take this time of peace with God as often as I can. I need to start each day with these types of moments with God, because as soon as the “world” is introduced to my thought process, it is almost impossible to clear out. If you don’t have such a time each day to experience the “peace” of Jesus Christ, I highly recommend it. May have to get up a bit earlier, but trust me, it will be worth it!
Now, a few notes for this week. First of all I just want to acknowledge what a great time we had last Sunday afternoon as we gathered in fellowship to “hang the greens” in the church. Food, family, and fellowship is always the source of great joy, and there was no shortage of that as the tree was constructed, the wreaths were hung by the windows with care, and the tall wooden trees were placed in the Narthex in remembrance of George Snyder, who made each and every one by hand. All of this done with the backdrop of live Christmas music presented in the jazz tradition.
Looking forward–Yorkshire Church will remain open for in-person fellowship for those that seek this form of worship, including children’s Sunday School for all age groups. We will continue to have three classrooms open (202, 204, 206) as well as the fellowship hall where services and adult Sunday School will be live streamed to allow our folks to spread out as much as possible so that the imposed guidelines may be satisfied to allow us to continue to meet in-person. Masks are now required at all times by order of the governor as well as our District Superintendent. Exceptions will be allowed for speakers, worship leaders, and at times when eating and/or drinking. Anyone with a health condition that does not allow for continued wear of a respiratory limiting face covering will also be exempt.
It is imperative that if you have a cold, cough, or any other type of “symptoms,” that you choose to enjoy worship from the live-stream posture. Even the possibility of exposure will require quarantine protocols to be followed which in themselves are quite restrictive- so I ask that this be taken very seriously. It seems like a simple thing, but it is this type of concern that robs me of my “peace!”
A word from Holly…
I asked Dave for a bit of space in his “what’s brewing” so that I could thank you all for your kind expressions of sympathy, flowers sent and meals provided after the passing of my father. The last several months and weeks have been overwhelming for me but knowing I was being lifted in prayer by so many brought me great comfort.
To say that this has been a difficult year for my family and for so many is such an understatement. Thanksgiving looked very different for our family and Christmas will as well. We have 2 empty chairs at our holiday dinner table, those belonging to my dad and brother. I ask that you continue to pray for those who have lost loved ones this year, and stay in touch regularly with the ones you love. Stay well. Many Thanks, Holly
Have a great and blessed day and do all you can to find peace!
– pastor dave.