Today's Lectionary Text
Isaiah 40:31But those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength,
they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
they shall walk and not faint.
I don’t know about you, but I have talked to several people recently who said October was like a race from start to finish. October is the month when schools have all their activities running full force, including the usual big fundraisers. Both of my children are in scouts, and they had their popcorn sales and camping trips in the sweet spot between the heat of summer and cold of winter. We had an amazing Trunk or Treat at the church with around 400 people, not to mention the Children’s Sabbath on Halloween.
I came into my office on Monday, November 1, and the very first task I had was to begin assigning roles and the practice schedule for the Children’s Christmas pageant. That same day, I talked with a volunteer about the angel bulletin board the children would be making. As I was getting gas in my car on that same day, I saw the advertisement for one of my favorite peppermint drinks, and I almost had to pinch myself to remember I still had the entire month of November to get through before Christmas would be here.
A few years ago, I recognized that Thanksgiving was one of my favorite holidays. I enjoyed it because it was simple. It was about food and family time, and there was no stress about the decorations or the gifts of Christmas. And yet, I still had totally skipped over Thanksgiving in my mind within a couple of days as I changed my focus from Halloween and went straight to Christmas.
I would encourage each of us to listen to the scripture from Isaiah, “Those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength….” Can we use this little reprieve we have before planning for Thanksgiving meals and trips to renew our strength that has been depleted during the mad rush of October? I know that I need this renewal if I am going to make it through the Advent and Christmas season!
I would encourage you to find some quiet time when you can light a candle, simply breathe, and ask God to renew your strength with this prayer or your own!
-Rev. Kim Dickerson-Oard
Wichita East Heights UMC
Prayer for Reflection
O God thank you for the opportunity to come to you for respite in our busy and hurried moments. We are tired and worn and we need your renewal as we run this race of life. Help us to listen to our spirits, our minds, our bodies, when we need to rest in your strength, and help us to know you are always with us. Amen.
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