Saturday, November 29, 2008

thanksgiving gives way to advent

It is a nice Thanksgiving Weekend. We stayed home---the other two full-time pastors are traveling to visit family long distances away, and I made a vow to myself, years ago when I was serving as an associate pastor that if I were ever in the senior role I would not vacate the premises the Sundays after Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, etc. So we share the load on these weekends. It works well.

Our two daughters were home this weekend, although they have now moved on, one returning to college, one going back to clean up and clear out of an apartment. All of a sudden it is quieter and cleaner...and already we miss them.
My wife cooked a fantastic Thanksgiving meal, which we have enjoyed off and on since. And so after they left my wife and I had lunch at a diner we have probably not visited in a year or so; it is nothing personal or even used to be on the path that we traveled in the vicinity of our younger daughter's high school and now our habits have changed, taking us in other directions. But it was good--a nice, small family kind of place, unusual in a big city, and they were not too hard on us for having been awol for so church this way?

With our older daughter we passed some of the time by watching the entire first season of 30 Rock. I cannot believe I did not get tuned into this show is hilarious, and in it you can see the glimpses of Tina Fey as Sarah Palin, a role she was born to play. The recurring tension between the managerial and artistic visions of Alec Baldwin and Tina Fey is very well-portrayed, and the other characters are odd and endearing.

The weekend is punctuated by two other realities---I have a wedding this evening, a nice couple, and I completed the sermon, in its basic form, when I taped it for Day One, earlier in the fall. Otherwise, things have been blessedly quiet.

By the way, you can read the Day One sermon by clicking on their website under links to the right.

During the Advent season I send a daily e-mail message that includes biblical reflection, calendars, humor, opportunities for giving and service, and cultural criticism.
I have been doing this for years, and it is somewhat unpredictable. If you would like to receive it, simply contact Carol Grinham at, and she will add you to the list.

Thanksgiving does give way to Advent, and I will revert to two of my longtime habits: listening only to Christmas music, but in a variety of genres (including Vince Guaraldi, James Taylor, Diana Krall, Bruce Cockburn, The Blind Boys of Alabama, and others); and reading from a daily devotional entitled Watch For The Light, published by Plough Publishing House. It is available from Amazon is is worth locating a copy.

Finally, I have just learned of the death of my friend Ben Witherington's father. Ben, you and your mother are in our prayers. The peace of the Lord!


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