is the grass any bluer...

is the grass any bluer...
on the other side?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Gratitude Attitude...

Central's communion table was filled
today with all sorts of gorgeous
fall vegetables -- a true cornucopia! 
My memories as a child and Christmas are absolutely fanciful and sugar filled.  My fascination was held captive by the lights on the tree, watching Little Drummer Boy and Amahl and the Night Visitors on television -- just once a year, no repeated airings were necessary -- the anticipation of Santa Claus, the music of the Holidays playing, children's choir, school choir, Santas on the corner in downtown Cincinnati outside Mabley's or Shillito's.  Oh oh OH - and enjoying A Christmas Carol with Mr. Magoo as Scrooge (it's still my favorite of all the presentations of Dickens' classic). 

We would be chastened daily by our mom that Santa Claus was watching, so we were careful not to misbehave.  The local live TV shows would countdown the days until Christmas...beginning sometime in September, I think.  A lady named Ruth Lyons had an hour-and-a-half live show she hosted at noon every day on WLWT, the NBC affiliate, and she had a Christmas Fund, which benefited children who were hospitalized hospital during the holidays.  

So we would wait, and sing, and learn all about the journey of Mary and Joseph and the birth of baby Jesus.  One of the pearls of wisdom from the nativity story is that we learned that hospitality wins out over selfishness and greed.  Even though all the innkeeper had to offer was a stable, he did provide shelter and safety for the family-to-be.  

Today, that notion causes peace to settle in my heart, to know that I do not have the best gift to bring, I do not have the biggest gift to bring, my table may not be bountiful, but there is food, there is love...and I do bring what I have to the table every day and every night, for God, for those I know and love, and for those I do not know and love.  I'm not perfect, but I do have something to offer, something to give.  


So having said that, I'll let you know that this morning's Thanksgiving worship was another glorious observance of all that God has blessed us with the honor to steward and serve.  

The children's choir sang Praise God, All You Little Children, We Are Very Thankful and Dance, Sing, Clap Your Hands.  We sang a John Rutter composition called Look at the World. I'll post the lyrics below so you may enjoy the text we painted with our music.  
Linda Reeb leads the KidSing Choir,
Michael Rintamaa
at the piano 

Speaking of music, Dr. Mooty's sermon today was about how he enjoys watching the congregation sing.  The lectionary reading was from the 100th Psalm, which begins, "Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands..."   He talked about the many different 'styles' of singing there are within the congregation: those who sing 'lustily,' with their head thrown back and belting out the words to the hymns in all their glory, and there are also those who sing quietly, change keys, are timid, questioning, affirming ... there are all sorts of ways we make joyful noise, and yes, singing is a magical gift that the Lord gave to us all. Everyone should sing...even those who are told they should not sing.  
This ceramic scene of the Last Supper is in the back of
Central's Sanctuary, behind glass and usually

Our director, Michael Rintamaa shared this meditation with us this week, and I want to share them with you now: 

Sound when stretched is music.
Movement when stretched is dance.
Mind when stretched is meditation.
Life when stretched is celebration.

To see the entire meditation, clicky click here:

Also, here is the anthem the Chancel Choir sang, by John Rutter:

Look at the world, ev'rything all around us: look at the world, and marvel ev'ry day. Look at the world: so many joys and wonders, so many miracles along our way.  Praise to thee, O Lord, for all creation, Give us thankful hearts, that we may see; all the gifts we share, and every blessing, all things come of thee.  Look at the earth bringing forth fruit and flower; look at the sky, the sunshine and the rain; look at the hills, look at the trees and mountains, valley and flowing river, field and plain.  Think of the spring, think of the warmth of summer bringing the harvest before the winter's cold.  Everything grows, ev'rything has a season, till it is gathered to the Father's fold.  Ev'ry good gift, all that we need and cherish comes from the Lord in token of his love; we are his hands, stewards of all his bounty; his is the earth, and his the heavens above.
I'm just waitin on a Friend...

Finally, here is a prayer we shared, which I hope you find meaningful:

All glory and praise to God!
Our benefactor in times of scarcity,
Our heavenly abba since before the world was made,
Our savior in all times and places,
Our beginning and our end.
God has given us an immense inheritance
More costly than gold and far more precious.
God gives us the gift of wholeness, of hope, of love.
God grants us salvation from fer and despair and darkness.
God has made this community and God sustains it.
Thanks be to God!
KidSing and Chancel Choir all getting ready in the
Evans Music Room before 11am worship

May your days be merry and bright...
pray for peace,
post-worship Sunday afterglow ;-)

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