And Now For Something Completely Different

December 9, 2020


Leadership Notes


{And Now for Something Completely Different}


Okay, here's the deal. True confession time. Over the past 6-8 months I've read a fair share of articles, comments, and commentaries on how pastors are struggling with Covid-19 challenges. Apparently, some churches are divided and/or dealing with palpable differences on moving forward during this pandemic. That has not been my experience.


Like any non-monolithic organization {unlike The Borg}, we hold a variety of thoughts and ideas about this pandemic. I believe strongly in being careful and cautious. My expectation is that people will make responsible choices for what is in their best interest and in the best interest of their families. And my experience is that people here are behaving accordingly. I would neither expect nor compel anyone to adhere to what I believe is in my best interest during this pandemic. For example, some worship in person, some worship online. We have had new worshipers in both venues in the past nine months. That's always a good thing.


I could not be happier with how Covenant Church people are loving and respecting each other and our community in 2020. Keep calm and carry on into 2021!


I love the people of Covenant Church. Sunday, after worship, I checked my text messages and a sweet, kind person sent me the name of the artist who sings my favorite version of "O Holy Night." It's by Tommee Profitt featuring Tauren Wells and SVRCINA. Watch it on YouTube. You won't be disappointed.


After worship Sunday, another lovely person shared with me that her young

grandson was singing, "God Rescue Merry, Gentlemen." And it works. Jesus Christ was born to die, to save us from sin and death. Rescue, indeed. Christmas only has meaning through the shadow cast by the cross.


Last week, my wife and I were watching Christmas episodes from old television shows. In one, "Bewitched," Samantha had to teach an old grump about the secular meaning of Christmas {they wouldn't touch the true meaning in a 60s sitcom!}. The old guy's name was Mr. Mortimer, founder of Mortimer's Soup Company. Why don't I remember watching that as a kid?


Another was an episode of "The Ozzie and Harriet Show." Ricky and his buddy, Wally, were doing a little Christmas shopping at the Emporium Department Store. They had sports coats and ties on, while other shoppers were equally attired. Lori and I wondered if that's how people dressed to go to fancy stores. So, Google to the rescue. And sure enough, all kinds of pictures came up from that era. People were dressed up to go shopping. Believe it or not, there was even a picture from 1948, at a big city Macy's, that had been overrun by Black Friday shoppers. The place was trashed. The more things change, the more they stay the same.


Here's a lovely insight - "Oh, the chasm that exists between the god we want and the God who is."


I know who Stephen King is, although I've never read any of his books. I've seen a few movies based on stories he's written, "The Shawshank Redemption" being one of my favorites. King is definitely liberal, politically and socially. But guess what? Sometimes liberals and conservatives {like me, of the Christian/ libertarian branch of conservatism} can have points of agreement. Specifically, someone compared the Covid-19 pandemic to a book he had written, "The Stand." I really appreciated King's reply. He said, "No, coronavirus is NOT like THE STAND. It's not anywhere as serious. It's eminently survivable. Keep calm and take all reasonable precautions." I couldn't agree more {even though I've never read "The Stand", I do know the premise of apocalyptic/dystopian literature}.


Finally, this from Dustin Benge:


You believed the gospel,

not because you were smarter,

not because you were righteous,

not because you were spiritual,

not because you were privileged,

but because God invaded your life

with His grace and opened your heart

to obey His Word and believe.



With Much Love and Good Cheer,


Richard

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