By Rev. Donn Brammer
As we come into the month of November we may be thinking in terms of Thanksgiving. Some may feel comfortable enough to gather with family and friends after not doing so last year, others may choose to wait a little bit longer. Some may feel comfortable traveling while others may choose to continue to wait. Some may feel comfortable gathering at their favorite restaurant, while again, others may choose to wait.
One thing I don’t want to wait on is giving God thanks for you. Truly our congregation has been wonderfully blessed by your faithfulness. The pandemic may have stopped us from some things, but one thing that has stayed true is your giving of time, support, and financial resources.
Some of you have not been able to worship with us for over a year, and yet once a week, or once a month, or once a quarter, you give your tithes and offerings. Many are going through financial hardships, and yet the gift to the church is the first gift given, before any other bills are paid; you bring in food for the pantry and gifts for special opportunities to support organizations like Adopt A Family. And because of your faithfulness, the mission and ministry of the church continues. Thank you.
Some of you have blessed us with your physical presence and support. By your attendance you remind us that we are not alone, no matter what challenges we may be facing, and we are reminded of the strength of community. You may never know it, but because you are sitting in a pew you are giving others hope and encouragement. People leave church on Sunday reminded not only of God’s presence, but of God’s presence through God’s people. Your attendance makes a difference and is a blessing week after week.
Some of you have chosen to show support by sharing time with the food pantry, others are sending cards, texts, or making phone calls. Some of you take daily prayer seriously and spend significant amounts of time in quiet devotion to God, praying not just about your concerns, but praying for others, and people are blessed through the power of the intercessory (praying on behalf of others) prayers you offer.
If you have read the New Testament then you know that the early church faced many challenges, obstacles, and even persecutions. But they remained faithful and true. Many times Paul and others were in prison, and the church showed up through visitors and prayers, giving much needed hope and renewal, giving strength and support. Bringing not only the presence of God, but also the comfort of companionship.
God has richly and abundantly blessed us because of your participation and I thank God for you, and I thank you for being such faithful disciples. I pray that tonight before you go to sleep you may hear these words from God, ‘Well done my good and faithful servant.’ Well done indeed. Thank you.
May you have a blessed Thanksgiving, knowing you have blessed many throughout this year.