Virtual Bulletin – 12/12

December 12th, 2021 – 3rd Sunday of Advent

UPCOMING ACTIVITIES FOR WEEK OF:  Dec 13th – Dec 19th

Monday……………….              Lucia, Martyr

                                                 6:00pm             Men’s Club

Wednesday…………….            2:30pm            Confirmation

                                                 7:30pm             Council

Thursday……………….           10:00am           Bible Study

Friday………………….            Daniel the Prophet and the Three Young Men

Sunday: ………………….          10:00am           Worship

                                                 11:00am           Bible Study

LAST WEEKEND    Attendance: 32             Contributions:  $3,755   YTD: $ 114,038

DEDICATED COLLECTIONS (for Year): Organ – $ 1,410  Missionary Support:  $ 1,700/collected

REGISTERING ATTENDENCE: Please help with this. Record your presence in the pew books!

COMMEMERATIONS

Lucia (Lucy) is a name that means light. Her celebration is a big thing in Scandinavian countries. On a day close to the shortest day of the year – under the old calendar it was – the celebration included the young women with crowns of lighted candles entering the dark church. Image google search “St. Lucy’s Day” and you will see a lot of modern examples. But who was St. Lucy herself? Hers is a story that comes from the Diocletian persecution (c. 304 AD). Coming from a wealthy family, she had vowed to never marry. (Yes, Lutherans have issues with that, but roll with it.) Her mother, in bad health, betrothed Lucy to a pagan man anyway. Lucy’s mother was miraculously healed, and Lucy convinced her mother to donate her dowry to the poor. The man she had been engaged to took offence and turned Lucy into the persecution. She was eventually martyred, but not before her eyes were gouged out which did not stop her from seeing. There is a lot going on in that story, but the core of it might be Psalm 36:9, “In your light, we see light.” We might think we see, but it is only in the light of Christ, which enters this world’s darkness at this time of year, that we can truly see. Lucy saw much better than all.

PRAYER THOUGHT AND MEDITATION

Thinking about St. Lucy, and last week’s meditation on John Donne, I’d be wrong not to mention one of his best poems. A Nocturnal on St. Lucy’s Day. You can find the full poem here: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/44122/a-nocturnal-upon-st-lucys-day

I don’t have the space to reproduce the entire thing, neither is it the type of poem for everyone. Current scholars turn up their noses at this kind of mention, but with a good amount of certainty we can say Donne wrote it in 1617 soon after the death of his wife Anne. It is a meditation on Love’s strange impacts. Everyone else is celebrating the solstice “all these seem to laugh” while John feels the darkness “Lucy’s, who scarce seven hours herself unmasks; The sun is spent.”  Everyone else is looking forward to “the next world, that is, at the next spring;” when love might rekindle its alchemy, but Donne stands as a warning, “Study me then, you who shall lovers be.” Love in this world is costly. When revelers think it all things bright and beautiful, “All others, from all things, draw all that’s good, Life, soul, form, spirit, whence they being have,” Donne knows, “I, by Love’s limbec, am the grave.”

And in this world, under the lesser sun, the lesser love, things do not renew. This does not stop Donne from wishing the best to those living under it. “But I am none; nor will my sun renew. / You lovers, for whose sake the lesser sun/ At this time to the Goat is run/ To fetch new lust, and give it you,/ Enjoy your summer all;”  But for John, this night, the thought of such a lesser sun is a memento mori, “Since she enjoys her long night’s festival, Let me prepare towards her”. That lesser sun, speaks a greater one. The remembering of a love that does not renew, points to one that shall. “This hour her vigil, and her eve, since this/ Both the year’s, and the day’s deep midnight is.” The year does turn and renew, and midnight turns towards noon. And all things that are nothing, shall one day see the dawn. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

BIBLE STUDIES

  • Thurs 10am: “The Bible Stories Everyone Should Know”. Come Join!
  • Confirmation: Intro to the Creed. – “What is a Creed”
  • Life Application Fellowship (LAF):  Next Year!
  • Sunday Morning: During Advent we will be looking at the OT/Gospel reading that is not the sermon text. Come Join!
  • Catechism Moment: In hibernation

RHAFT CHALLENGE ADVENT

The season of Advent is quickly approaching, and so is a RHAFT challenge for giving to our local food pantry.  You will find an insert in your bulletin which lists some suggestions for items to give during each of the four weeks of Advent.  (Of course, any donations are welcomed any week, but this method helps us give a variety of items to RHAFT.)  There are many who are “in need” in our community, especially during this time of job losses and rising prices. We thank you for your past generosity in giving, and we pray that you will accept our challenge to help once again!