Justice and Joy... and Light

I am still thinking back to the final song of Choir Dedication Sunday,  "A Place at the Table" that all the choirs joined together to sing. The lyrics included "And God will delight when we are creators of justice - justice and joy!" I watched from the side of the sanctuary and was moved by the sincere and confident expressions of the youngest children, whose faces were particularly in my line of vision. Ah - what a beautiful and important message for them to sing, and let take root in their everyday lives; and what a beautiful and important message for us to hear in new ways!

Then, last Sunday, we had a different kind of celebration - one that was certainly more somber, yet wonderfully faith-filled, as we named the people in our church and extended families who had passed on during the last year. As each name was spoken, a candle was lit, reminding us of the countless ways they had shone the light of God's love through their lives, and reminding us of God's eternal love that surrounds them in a whole new kind of life now.

During these last few weeks of the church year, these weeks before the start of Advent, our scripture and services in worship remind us how important it is to live in the light of God's love and God's purposes for us every day of our lives. This Sunday and next, we will hear parables that Jesus told to help us remember to live our daily lives with a sense of watchfulness - ready to see where God is at work, ready to see where we can step in to make a difference, ready to see where we are given opportunities to be, with God's love, "creators of justice and joy" - people who let the light of God shine through us.

This Sunday, the scripture is Matthew 25:1-13, a story about people who had forgotten their need to be replenished so they would have something of themselves to give. As long ago as that parable was created, it still speaks to our current needs. How do we let our spirits be "replenished" in ways

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