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"What is important is to realize that we are a family... and that the reason we are at church is not to be entertained but to worship God, increase our relationship with God, increase our recognition of God’s worth in our lives..."

 

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  Pastor Michael's Musings

 

 

I ____ Thanksgiving

 

Thanksgiving – it’s one of those holidays that is very polarizing, you either love it or hate it. Strangely, the reasons behind loving it or hating it are usually the same; family. Those who love it, do so because it gives reason to get together and spend time with those we care about – our families, biological or chosen.  Conversely, those who hate it will say the same thing, “I hate it because I have to deal with family.”

 

There once was a time when I was in the “I dread Thanksgiving camp,” because my “family-life” was, shall we say, challenging. It was challenging because it was “forced family gratitude.” We gathered in the name of “Thanksgiving” because we were supposed to, not because we wanted to. The result was always one demonstrating anything other than thanks or gratitude.

 

But I’ve come to experience the holiday differently because of very intentional choices, and now it’s one of my favorites. Thanksgiving is at its best when it’s approached with the intention and remembrance of Christ’s greatest commandment; love God and love each other. Regardless of what food (or quantity of it) is on the table, whether there is football on the TV or not and if you’re with one other person or dozens, Thanksgiving is comforting, fulfilling and anticipated when we do all of it because we love God and others. That’s where gratitude comes from – what’s behind what we ought to be thankful for.

 

As the days get shorter, the weather turns colder and Turkey Day approaches, remember that you get to choose what camp in which you’ll be; love-it or hate-it.  Keep Jesus’ greatest commandment at the forefront of your waking thoughts and I’m positive that you’ll either become more entrenched in the love-it camp or start moving out of the hate-it one. Happy Thanksgiving.

 

 

Pastor Greg’s Gandering     

 

 

I HATE TO KNEEL

 

As many of you know, I did a short stint, about five years, as a devout Roman Catholic. One of the things that I recognized the value of, but hated to do, was kneeling.  There are a couple of times in the mass where everyone who is able is required to kneel.  This kneeling was a sign of honor, love and respect to God, but I hated to do it. It hurt my knees and my back, so I found ways around it.  I would kneel but then I would sit back against the pew. It still was not comfortable.  But the thing about kneeling is that everyone did it. The rich, the poor, the powerful, the powerless; everyone knelt in honor, respect and love of God.

 

That being said, when I see athletes kneeling during the anthem, I see that as a sign of honor, respect, love and allegiance to a loving God, who I believe is the inspiration for their protest. But, I also see it as a sign of allegiance to the flag of the U. S. which is the flag that stands for a republic, under God, with liberty and justice for all.   They are telling us all that the flag that people are wrapping themselves in has become a flag that stands, not for liberty and justice for all, but liberty and justice for a select group who are of the right race, immigration status and connections to power.   The action of kneeling is a pledge of alliance to the flag for which our country was intended to stand. 

 

I hate kneeling, even to God.  But I did it out of love, respect and honor to God.  I too, will kneel with those who find it the only way to pledge allegiance to a flag of a Republic, that is UNDER God and that holds as its highest value liberty and justice for ALL.

 

 

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