From Rev Sue Ann Yarbrough
Thanksgiving blessings to you all. May the peace of Christ be known at all our tables. It is perfectly acceptable to have a modest Thanksgiving!
Advent begins on November 29 and Hanukkah begins December 11. I often think of this time of year as the season of lights. Advent is truly a sister of Lent in that in both seasons we are consciously clearing and renewing our hearts and minds for the love and light of Christ to shine anew. Gratitude is an excellent place to begin the journey. Please know we are grateful for all of you and that we are keeping you in our prayers.
This is a beautiful Psalm, and if everyone took even just the first line of this Psalm to heart, the world would indeed know peace. Imagine all people being mindful of their words. Let us remember that God hears every word we utter because our souls are of God.
The image of God as a faithful shepherd occurs often in the Bible, and Jesus referred to it as well. Even if you have had no experience of tending to a flock, I think we can all understand that shepherds must pay attention to the creatures in his or her charge. My father was a cattle rancher, and he spent much time tending to his herds. He made certain every animal was accounted for. When I would be in his pickup with him, I would see him often stopping to count the cows in a herd to make sure no animal was missing or seemed to be suffering. It is a memory of good animal husbandry that I do not think I will forget.
Adrianus Valerius wrote this hymn in Dutch 1597 and it was published after his death in 1626. The 1981 version, written in the above text, is an adaptation by Ruth Duck and can be found in the Chalice Hymnal.
Meister Eckhart was a German theologian and philosopher who was born in 1260. His exact date of death is not known - probably 1327 or 1328.
Rev. Sue Ann Yarbrough, Associate Pastor
San Lorenzo Community Church, United Church of Christ