"Ponderings from the Pastor"
Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! November is here and all of us at Stockton Memorial are preparing to celebrate one of our favorite American traditions, THANKSGIVING!! Of course, we know that most of the stores, tv commercials, and retailers are already working on Christmas, but we believe that Thanksgiving (like Grandma) should not get run over by the reindeer! So, I want to take this opportunity to invite you to join us on Wednesday night Nov.27th as we celebrate Holy Communion during our Annual Thanksgiving Eve Worship Service.
And speaking of Thanksgiving, shouldn’t we all be thankful every day? I know some days it is harder to be thankful than others. From the divisiveness in our country and the atrocities like the latest bloodshed in Pittsburgh to violence in our neighborhoods and families being torn apart by addiction and anger, some days it seems that God has abandoned us. But isn’t it more likely that WE have turned our back on Him? We have become so technologically advanced that we no longer look to God. We are so busy looking at our cell phones, i-pads, and computers, that we forget to look for Him. We’ve kicked God out of so many places including our schools. There is an ongoing movement to take Christ out of Christmas. We have become hyper-sensitive, easily offended, and no longer know how to disagree with one another without being disagreeable or even violent. We can blame it on our leadership or social media or anything else we want. But until we acknowledge that even in our techno world, the “Ancient of Days” is THE authority, we will continue to decay and destroy ourselves. As the Apostle Paul warned the early Christians in Galatia, “If you continue hurting each other and tearing each other apart, be careful! You will completely destroy each other! (Galatians 5:15, NET)
With all that in mind, I would like to offer to you this challenge that I have also given to our Church family. Each day in the month of November, I challenge you to stop and take a moment to give thanks to God for at least one thing that you are grateful for in your life. It MUST be something new each day. As I said, some days will be tougher than others, but it is my prayer that by Thanksgiving Day, you will be in the habit of giving thanks to God every day! Our Life Verse for November reflects this spirit of thankfulness. From Colossians 3:15- “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful”.
It's worth pondering!