From the Pastor's Desk
It Is Not Easy Being "The Grinch"
How many of you are
willing to admit that you are "The Grinch" (TG)? That is a tough question to answer honestly and then live
up to - isn't it? Nobody wants to be seen as TG.
You know the story of TG. The Whos in Whoville likes
Christmas a lot. They spend so much time and energy getting ready for Christmas that it gets on TG's nerves. TG
lives just north of Whoville, in a cave, up on Mount Crumpit! He can see Whoville and hear the Whos as they get ready
for Christmas. So TG makes a plan to steal Christmas. He takes all of the decorations, presents, food, and everything
else he can find in the village back up the mountain - just to be mean. Then he waits to hear all the Whos crying because
Christmas had been stolen from them. To TG's surprise he finds that the Whos aren't crying - they're singing and holding
hands and rejoicing exactly the same as if it had been a normal Christmas morning. TG didn't stop Christmas from coming
at all. Even without packages, boxes, or bags, Whoville celebrated just the same. Then TG understands that the
real Christmas doesn't come from a store. It is in the hearts of all Who celebrate it. At that moment, his heart
grows three sizes and he goes down the mountain and returns all the goodies to the Whos of Whoville. The Whos don't
seem any happier when all of their stuff has been returned than when it was gone. They even invite TG to join them in
their Christmas Feast. (I think the only one unhappy was the Beast.)
This is a Great Advent Story.
It is about sin controlling a life (TG) to the point that it tries to destroy other lives. Sin didn't make TG happy
after all. But when TG realized that sin was not the answer to happiness, he changed (repented) and made amends to those
he had intentionally hurt. He was forgiven by his victims and he found true happiness.
It is not easy understanding
you are wrong - then admitting you are wrong - then changing yourself from being wrong. TG didn't turn out so bad in
Merry Christmas and Happy Advent,
PREVIOUS NOTE FROM THE PASTOR
What an easy thing to do - but what a difficult thing to do. When was the last time you said, "Thank
you" to someone? It probably wasn't very long ago was it? Most of us have been trained to thank others for
their kindness and generosity. Most of us have also developed the good habit of thanking people for nothing more than
doing their jobs.
Betty has been in the hospital for a week and a half as I write this article. I cannot
begin to count how many times I have said, "Thank you" to nurses and aides and doctors who have come into her room
to check on her or do something to help her. Yes, they are just doing their job. And it shouldn't be a thankless
job. No job should be thankless. Whether it is a paid job or a volunteer job, someone is expending effort to perform
a needed task.
I would like to say, "Thank you for supporting this church." Without the people
who attend our worship, fill officer positions, volunteer time and energy, sing in the choir, care for our property, keep
our books, bake our bread, call and visit our members, we would not be a church.
And I would like to say, "Thank
you for supporting our church financially." Without your tithes and offerings and other gifts I wouldn't get paid.
Our building would be hot in the summer and cold in the winter. The lights wouldn't come on and the organ wouldn't play.
We wouldn't be able to have outside groups use our facilities. There would be no Hope Center classes, no Youth Orchestra
classes, no Girl Scout meetings, no NA meetings without your financial support.
We have received a "thank
you" from several organizations that we, as a church, support financially. God's Pantry Food Bank sent thanks for
helping put food on Kentucky tables. The Salvation Army sent thanks for helping finance the Hanger Shelter. The
Hope Center sent thanks for helping provide a Second Chance for their clients.
I would like to say, "THANK