A Word about the Word
Hope deferred makes the heart sick. [Proverbs 13:12]
This describes most of us right now during this prolonged COVID-time, doesn’t it? On Sunday, we heard a good reminder from Pastor Ty about our call to “wait.” That’s how God builds our “muscle of trust.”
But let’s face it, our hearts are simply sick and tired of this whole ordeal. “Hope deferred”: We hear the promise of the coming vaccine. Maybe a bit of hope on the horizon. So, we wait.
Advent is the season of waiting. When Christ finally came that first Christmas, he fulfilled the hopes of many as being the one “who forgives all your iniquity” and “heals all your diseases” [Psalm 103:3].
Now we are still waiting. And our Christmas trees and advent wreaths remind us that the One who came will come again to bring peace and justice throughout the world. When? Wait for it.
Close to Home
Thank you to our Lord and to the Trinity family for such faithful and consistent giving throughout this entire COVID season. Your generous giving has enabled us to maintain our desire to design excellent ministries for everyone (albeit adjusted for pandemic protocols and safety). Staff are beginning now to re-imagine what an effective and spiritual church could look like in 2021. To have the prayers and funds to fuel life-giving and life-changing ministries is so good. Thank you for your continued support in these days.
And while I’m at it, thank you for participating in our Advent campaign to “Give a Girl Wings.” As of this writing, we are at 67% of our goal. Together we are bringing tangible hope to Indian girls in desperate and deplorable situations. We are helping provide education, skills training, crisis counseling, and community healthcare. You are enabling them to fly away from trafficking and child marriage—and fly toward their hopes and dreams of becoming teachers, doctors, scientists, or astronauts. I know this to be true, as I’ve met some of these dreamers. Watch this and get a glimpse of one girl’s dream and potential.
To participate, come to the library on Sunday morning or go here to give online. https://www.trinitymentor.com/dfnadvent/
My childhood dream was to be a rock and roll star (actually, a Beatle). My first “ministry” was leading singing with my acoustic guitar for a fellowship at Kent State. All that to say, I am so grateful for all who lead us in worship. Especially during these COVID days of caution and quarantining, pulling it off is extremely complicated. Thank you!
You’ll hear a lot of reminders in the coming days, but don’t forget that our Christmas Eve services are moving outside—well, two of them are! Since our drive-in services were so popular over the summer, we thought we’d bring that same idea to life on Christmas Eve at 3:30pm and 6:30pm. That means that anyone can join us—kids, parents, grandparents, dogs…you name it, we hope you’ll come on Christmas Eve! We’ll also be celebrating in a quieter way at 11:15pm that evening as we usher in Christmas Day with candles and carols during our only indoor service. No matter which you choose, this will be a Christmas Eve to remember.
The World as It Is
We are not all that different! Mark Penn writes in the Wall Street Journal that in a recent survey, only 24% of American voters say they are liberal; 38% say they are conservative; and 38% say they are moderate.
The Cleveland Browns are 9–3. I’m just sayin’!
A prayer for 2020 from 2 Chronicles 20: We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.
Catholic conservative George Weigel describes the three pillars of western civilization as Jerusalem (the Bible), Athens (reason), and Rome (rule of law). He concludes that as a result of rejecting the first, we are losing the second and will soon lose the third. If you want to read it, go here.
You probably won’t be surprised to learn that Philip Yancey is one of my favorite authors. He has a brilliant way of causing you to see life and God from a fresh perspective. He is presently working on a contemporary paraphrase of pastor and poet John Donne’s Devotions. Written during the bubonic plague in London, Donne searches in his writings for hope and reasons to be thankful. Here is an excerpt. You’ll see similarities to our day.
And Then There’s This…
The Bible concludes with a beautiful “Advent” prayer:
He who testifies about these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.”
Amen! Come Lord Jesus!
(The prayer Come, Lord Jesus is actually Maranatha—an Aramaic word meaning “Come, Lord.”)
I’ll catch you on the other side.