Monday Morning Meditation 11-30-20

Advent is a time of waiting.  But what exactly does it mean to wait?  There are different definitions that offer a complexity to the simple word “wait”.

We all know what it means to wait for things.  I often take the train when I travel to Philadelphia and have to wait at the station.  We wait in car line to pick up our children at school or an extracurricular event. We wait for someone to finish getting ready so we can go somewhere.

Then there are the unhealthy waits – waiting for the “right time” to start the exercise program, or to have a hard conversation.  This type of waiting tends to be more about procrastinating or avoiding something.

But biblical waiting is different.  Over the past few Sundays, the Gospel lessons were all about waiting for Christ’s return.  Jesus would tell these stories of waiting and watching, combining the two words.  And this type of waiting is more of a time of preparation.  To wait expectantly means you works towards that event as you anticipate it.

Think about having a child.  You must wait nine months – but you do not go about your business as usual, rather you prepare.  You create a space for a crib, you get baby furniture and clothing.  You start to consider changes in schedules.  You rest (and we know the importance of proper rest).  This waiting is filled with action and contemplation. 

This is the same waiting Jesus calls us to.  When we wait or keep watch, we continue to prepare for Him by doing those things He calls us to do.  And each of us have different gifts, talents, and abilities, but all are from God and all can be used for God. 

During this time of Advent waiting, prepare yourself to receive Him again.  Make Advent a time of prayer, contemplation, rest, and action.  Consider one thing to do each week that might make a difference for another.  Try a new way to pray, or an additional time of day for meditative prayer.  Learn a new (for you) song or hymn.  Contemplate on the words to some of the traditional Advent hymns.  Practice random acts of kindness. 

And wait with anticipation for God.


Pastor Bill

Monday Morning Meditation 11-23-20

1 Chronicles 16:31-34

Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let them say among the nations, “The Lord reigns!”
Let the sea resound, and all that is in it; let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them!
Let the trees of the forest sing, let them sing for joy before the Lord, for he comes to judge the earth. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.

Normally for Thanksgiving we have family members over, but like many of you, not this year.  We will celebrate with our household.  As every year, we will rise, eat breakfast, and put on the Thanksgiving Day parade.  During the parade, I will be busy in the kitchen working on the meal. 

But this year we will not have family over. 

Yet we remain thankful.  Even through all this mess of 2020 we must remain thankful for God is good and his love endures forever.  While our worship services are different, and our congregation is scattered, God is with us.  Even though we wear masks, and limit our contacts, God is with us.  No matter what happens, God is with us.  That is God’s eternal promise.

As you sit down for your meal this Thanksgiving, remember to “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.”

Happy Thanksgiving,

Pastor Bill

Monday Morning Meditation 11-16-20

Gospel Reading Luke 17:20-21

Once Jesus was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God was coming, and he answered, “The kingdom of God is not coming with things that can be observed; nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There it is!’ For, in fact, the kingdom of God is among you.”

It is all around us, the kingdom.  It is not fully here, but it is here, nonetheless.  You can see it in the smile of a child, in the kindness of a stranger, in the power of a sermon, in the softness of a musical note.

The kingdom of God is all around us.  But it is hard to see – because we are so focused on seeing everything else.  Our society is so busy right now, so busy with day to day living (and that makes sense, as our days are pretty difficult) that we miss signs of the kingdom.

On the other hand, we do not want to be so “heavenly minded that we are not earthly good” as the old saying goes.  We must pay attention to our surroundings, we need to know what is happening, we must be prepared for each day.

Yet, what will we do with that information, that preparation?  Will we just read, watch or listen to the news and get bogged down in it?  Or will we use it to be informed – and then go out and share the kingdom?

There is political discord – so we should stop the political anger and instead offer peace.

There is racial divide – so we should reach out and embrace all no matter their color or ethnicity.

There is concern and fear regarding the pandemic – so we should offer comfort and understanding rather than divisive opinions.

And these are just a few examples.  Being informed and knowing the situation is a great way to spread the kingdom of God.  It allows us to enter into someone else’s situation and offer the comfort of God.

As you start this new week, consider how you can spread the kingdom.


Pastor Bill

Church 3.0 The Church WILL Survive Video Two

Church 3.0 The Church Will Survive Video Two

The Nazi Government tried to control the church in the 1930’s.  Why do you think some churches went along with this?

How strict should we adhere to separations between the Church and the State?

In what ways could the Church and the State work together for the good of the people?

Here is a link to the Barmen Declaration

Monday Morning Meditation 11-9-20

James 1: 5-8

If any of you is lacking in wisdom, ask God, who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and it will be given you. But ask in faith, never doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind; for the doubter, being double-minded and unstable in every way, must not expect to receive anything from the Lord.

I know I could use some wisdom right now, how about you?  We are almost one third of the way through November and I am starting to plan the Advent and Christmas seasons.  And that will take lots of wisdom.

This is one of those passages that we all need to read more frequently.  Asking for wisdom is a good thing to do – but look at what James says, “ask in faith, never doubting”.  And as I said in the sermon yesterday, doubt is the greatest tool Satan has.  When the seeds of doubt are planted, mayhem results. 

So as a new week begins, as the nation continues to struggle with the pandemic and division over the election, let us all faithfully ask for wisdom.

And believe God will grant it.


Pastor Bill

Monday Morning Meditation 11-2-20

Psalm 133

How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity! It is like the precious oil on the head, running down upon the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down over the collar of his robes.  It is like the dew of Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion. For there the LORD ordained his blessing, life forevermore.

Do you remember getting a tooth pulled and your tongue automatically goes to the hole?  How about driving along the highway and there is an accident on the other side – many slow down to look.  It seems like part of the human condition, and we do it digitally as well.

I was reading an article on the election then started reading the comments.  I know, its like sticking my tongue in that hole, or creating a gaper delay watching the accident.  I had to turn it off and walk away. 

Tuesday is Election day, and this has been a very contentious election.  Many have their opinions and are willing to share them.  The problem is more people want to denigrate each other rather than support the right to opposing positions.  There is too much name calling, too much meanness, too much belittling of anyone who disagrees (and I see this on both sides of the political fence).

As I read the scriptures, I’m convinced that God is more concerned with how we behave towards each other than who we elect – especially since God calls us to love one another as ourselves.  And no candidate is any more elevated than any other human – they answer to the same God as we do.

As we travel these last few hours before Election day, and as we wait for results remember that each of us are created in God’s image and loved with an immeasurable love – no matter who we vote for.


Pastor Bill