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December 2, 2018

December 2, 2018

[As] it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah, “The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.’ Luke 3:4

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What a great (and appropriate) picture. The first candle of Advent is reflected at the base of the cross. And to the right sits the ewer (pitcher) that we use for baptism. “Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.” Luke 3:4 could be the slogan of baptism. For what else do we do when we baptize an infant but prepare the way of the Lord in the child’s life? We become part of God’s movement that is already taking place.

Likewise, if we desire to take Advent seriously, to observe a holy Advent and prepare ourselves for the coming again of our Lord, then perhaps the place to begin is to remember our own baptism and to take those vows and claims seriously.

Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.

Remember your baptism and be thankful.

Larry Lenow

December 3, 2018

December 3, 2018

And the king will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” Matthew 25:40

These words of Jesus seem so simple. We are instructed to care for the “least” of people—the hungry, thirsty, poor, needy people. Likewise, James tells us that “faith, by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead” (James 2:17).

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In this photo, many hands are working together to share Christ’s love with children who are among the “least” of children. For whatever causes or reasons, they are hungry. Perhaps they are physically hungry, or hungry for warm clothing on a cold day, or hungry for a comfortable bed to sleep on at night. They may, in this season of giving, be hungry for toys and treats.

As a church, we can work together to bring a bright moment to a child whose days may often be dark. I am so grateful to be part of a church body that enables me to be so much more effective in giving than I could ever do on my own. Let us consider how we can celebrate this beautiful season by celebrating our joy in Christ with those who need it the most.

Susie Ainsworth

December 4, 2018

December 4, 2018

As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease. Genesis 8:22

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When I look at this picture of our sanctuary, it is empty of people, but not empty of God. The seasons change, hot to cold, seeds to harvest. Days change from light to darkness, but God is always there waiting for us.

We come to Trinity during Advent to open our hearts and to receive God’s enduring love for us in the form of a baby, the baby Jesus. We fill our sanctuary with people, scripture, and music celebrating this steadfast love. Our sanctuary is empty no longer.

Rich and Sharon Bauer

December 5, 2018

December 5, 2018

Praise him with clanging cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals! Psalm 150:5

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The cymbals in our worship service symbolize a joyful voice and the idea that we should praise God and celebrate with the highest expression of joy and triumph in our church. In Old Testament worship and in Jesus’ time, musical instruments pointed you to the Holy Spirit who used preaching, singing, and the clanging of cymbals as a means to let the work of God dwell within you.

In the photo at hand, I see the praise team through our modern worship ministry working to “glorify God through our lives and song.” We are using our gift of music to inspire us and the congregation to be led to God’s presence.

At Trinity during Advent, we eagerly await the coming of Christ. We enter into a season of hope and joyful expectation. We sing and play music. We praise God.

May we take this time as we approach the journey towards the birth of Christ to sing with happiness, to honor the spirit of God’s wondrous gift, and to praise him with our clanging and loud crashing cymbals.

Bobby Hudson

December 6, 2018

December 6, 2018

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth. Psalm 100:1

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The Sounds of Joy – Evoking Memories

Christmas is a time of joy and anticipation! Admiring faces of Young at Heart members savor the tender voices of Freeman High Schoolers’ joyful singing on a crisp December afternoon. And we remember joyful voices and music from the past and present.

The angelic voices of Betty Schneider and Grace Mortimer and the robust voice of Jeffrey Abbott and Frank Sencindiver filled the sanctuary in the past. Melodious steeple chimes waft the “Good News” across the neighborhood each year. Bible passages are sprinkled among Christmas carols during Sunday services, reminding us of the true meaning of the holiday. Children’s choirs eagerly (and sometimes with antics!) heighten the Christmas spirit.

We’re blessed with Trinity choir members raising their voices with the “Hallelujah” chorus at Easter time, joined by the congregation at the end. Jeannie Mertens, Jan Benton, and others share in personal songs of praise. Our various instrumental groups, Matthew McCullough’s bongos and drums, and the praise team provide a cool background beat as an extra-sensory experience for worship. Charles Staples’ organ extravaganzas and the leadership that he and Pat Ruscus provide are the sound foundation for our musical experiences.

Psalm 100:1: “Make a joyful noise to the Lord all the earth.” Trinity seems to do a great job! When visitors join us, what do they see? What do they hear? What do they feel? Each Sunday morning as we sing hymns of praise and thanksgiving, let’s raise our voices and make our “joyful noise”! But especially at Christmas time, through our Lessons and Carols and enduring Christmas hymns, let’s all raise our voices in joy and praise to THE ONE.

Wayne Bullis