Twilight Twitches

fetscherDear Family,
Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks.” So says St. Paul as he finishes his first letter to the Thessalonians. We heard it today. Earlier in chapter 3;12-13, he offers the reason for their rejoicing. He says,  “...  may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we have for you, so as to strengthen your hearts, to be blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his holy ones.”

The huge love for which Paul prayed in verses 12 and 13 is seen on a practical level by living out the norms of conduct that he gave them. The principles of Christian living, of acting morally, come right out of how we see ourselves relating to God. Knowing His love for me points me in the direction of a moral conduct that is the practical, personal expression of one’s Christian faith, love, and hope.

In other words, as I said last week, “You can’t give what you don’t got.” Flip it over. The Holy Spirit shows us the Lord’s love, and because we know that love and experience it, we have some¬thing to give.

I guess that might be a good reason to Rejoice! Imagine. All our Christmas shopping is done. Now we’ve got something to give everyone. So easy!

...or not! It gets a little tricky when I have to ask myself, just what am I willing to do to receive this incredible gift that will make me a super-giver? The answer that flows from the back of my brain and my heart is, “Spend more time with me. Give me a chance to show you what I’ve given you in case you forgot where you put it. Give me a chance to show you how much more there is, an infinity of ‘more.’”
I guess you’ve already figured out by now what Gaudete means. It goes with its cousin Laetare which comes in Lent. They both ask us to look ahead to the feasts we are getting to celebrate, Christmas and Easter. That’s why we even change the color of the vestments to rose.

(You will, of course, recall that your pastor prefers not to use the other name for the color. There is something about evoking the image of a very plump grape of that color that reinforces my distinct distain for champagne and other potables of like hue.)

One of the things I rejoice about these days is the work that many folk are doing about decorations. Patricio is a nut when it comes to Christmas, and thanks to him my house gets to glowing almost instantaneously after Thanksgiving. The Nativity scenes go up with no Jesus yet. We await our Savior.

Pancake gurus Sue and Scott Martinez (the Martini’s) assemble a great cloud of angelic messengers who help with the decorations in the Church from lighting wreaths to arranging mangers – complete with the hay Patricio gets from a Davie feed store. (Told you he was a Christmas nut.)

Next Sunday is the fourth Sunday of Advent AND Christmas Eve. That gives the decorators about three hours Sunday afternoon to finish converting the decorations to Christmas. I hope you are one of those helpers because I have it on good authority from the Lord that you are extremely blessed. Ok, He didn’t exactly Fed Ex me that memo. Rather, it’s a corner of that heart I was talking about earlier in this letter, the one that lets me hear Him say, “Spend some time with me.” I’m so grateful and I know I’m speaking for a grateful parish.

Come Lord Jesus, be born in us.
sign frjim

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