Good News: A Weekly Update from St Thomas—December 8, 2016
In the gospel for this Third Sunday of Advent, we hear John the Baptist, in prison, sending his disciples to Jesus to ask the question: “Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?” Instead of coming right out and saying “I am the one,” Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them. And blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me.” (Matthew 11:2-11) Actions speak louder than words.
Our “Fill the Sills” effort during November resulted in 316 pounds of food, cleaning supplies, personal care items and socks for the Open Cupboard food bank and thrift shop in Clinton. Thank you to all who donated, and to Elisabeth and Roman Chiminec for delivering the bounty.
The quarter tube has been filled and emptied once again, and $120.00 will be sent to Christ Church in Toms River for ongoing Sandy relief work. Thank you for every quarter dropped into that tube.
The Center for Great Expectations in Somerset will benefit from a portion of the proceeds of our Tricky Tray, and will continue to do their important and life changing work with women and children in a variety of ways.
These, and so many other examples, are the outward and visible signs of the inner and spiritual Grace we receive from God, and acknowledge in our own lives through our generosity as individuals and as this community of faith. But they are only the tip of the proverbial iceberg. We share the Good News of God’s love every day in our encounters with friends, family and strangers, through our words and our actions. Every day.
As we prepare our homes and our hearts for the Nativity of our Lord, we are filled with joy and thanksgiving, but also aware of so much need, and so much still to be done. There may be times when the needs seem so much more than what we are able to provide or even anticipate, and it all can feel overwhelming. Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965) wrote: “Sometimes our light goes out, but is blown again into instant flame by an encounter with another human being. Each of us owes the deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this inner light.”
So, we look for the light, and we share the Light, knowing that the One Who is to Come is very near indeed.
Let us pray:
Stir up your power, O Lord, and with great might come among us; and, because we are sorely hindered by our sins, let your bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen.
Peace and blessing,