Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Didn't it feel great to have a full church this past Sunday? By having only one service to accomodate the budget meeting, we really packed the pews. That created an energy and vitality in all aspects of the service, and I especially loved to hear the congregation singing with gusto, even on a relatively unfamiliar hymn.
I invite you all to help us fill the church again: tomorrow is our Thanksgiving Eve worship service at 7:00. We have some fantastic music planned, including guest trumpet players and a flashy arrangement of "Now Thank We All Our God" that I hope you'll love to sing.
The choir's anthem will be "Stay With Us" by Egil Hovland. It's a beautiful composition with lush chords and harmonies. The middle section with four-part women's harmonies is sung particularly well by our small group. I hope our congregation realizes that we are blessed to have such strong dedication from our choir (and we're always happy to welcome other to join us, of course!). The text of the anthem is based on the last chapter of Luke's Gospel, when Christ appears on the road to Emmaus and interprets the scriptures for his disciples. The text comes from the moment when Christ appears to be leaving, and they urge "Lord, stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over."
They proceed to eat dinner together, with Jesus blessing the meal. It's a quiet moment in the Gospel story, gathering together to give thanks and to comfort each other. The modern Thanksgiving tradition does similarly tend to be about coming together with family and friends (in contrast with the secural corruption of Christmas). However, don't forget that the true origin of the holiday is a day of prayer and thanks for the many blessings in our lives. Surely, we can take time out from cooking and cleaning to come to church for worship and fellowship!