A wonderful end the 12 days of Christmas yesterday, and beginning of the New Year…in many ways! Worship began with a procession of the 3 Kings and continued with a focus on the words from Isaiah, “Arise, shine for your Light has come!” Adding to the great worship experience was the arrival of so many of our winter friends. Welcome back! Then the day was then topped off by a great concert by the Augsburg College Orchestra from Minneapolis at 4pm! More about that momentarily.
But first…the sermon ended yesterday with something to ponder. What if you began everyday with the words from Isaiah ringing in your ears and heart: “Arise, shine, for your Light has come!” ? Then, along with those words, what if you remembered the words spoken over you at the time of your Baptism: “Let your light shine before others that they can see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” ? How would beginning your day like that shape your life and affect those around you; those near and dear and even strangers? And if all of God’s people began their day like that, what kind of impact would that have on our communities, our society and on the world!?
Well, our folks seemed to take that call to heart last night for the Augsburg Orchestra concert. The conductor and musicians were all so grateful and so pleased by the great turnout, the warm reception, the helpful volunteers and the great meal following the concert. The conductor told me after the concert that they go to many churches on their tours, but there was something very special about being here: the warmth, the reception, the helpfulness, the generosity, the spirit. He said you could just feel it. Many thanks to all for making that happen, and especially to the helpers who provided the meal for the musicians. You truly did let your Light shine! What a wonderful way to end the 12 days of Christmas and begin the New Year.
Finally, a brief but most heartfelt word of thanks from Pastor Shelly, Ryan and me, for your humbling and most generous Christmas gifts (both individual gifts and the combined gift gathered from so many of you) and for all of your kind and gracious words attached to so many of those gifts. This is a wonderful place to be, and we are so grateful to you all for your love and support.
Happy Epiphany today! See you in church! Pastor Jack Diehl +