This morning, I had the amazing experience of worshiping in two congregations who are taking this Advent journey with many of you. I enjoyed singing and praying with churches I have the privilege of walking with in this season of my ministry. I listened to two gifted pastors take words that I poured myself into, and shape them to speak in their context and with their voices. And I was ushered into moments of beautiful worship that touched my heart.
Tonight, I share with you one final message as part of this series. It has been such a joy to engage in the process of pulling this work together. I have appreciated (and been deeply humbled by) the kind words that I have received from many of you who have experienced this work as the gift I hoped it could be. I have sought to be faithful in praying for the congregations who I know have been connecting with God through Repeat the Sounding Joy. Finally, I have been reminded that we can connect with the deepest parts of our calling wherever we may be planted in a given season – if we simply look for the opportunity to do so. So I thank God for planting within me a deep love for words, and an ever-deepening love for the Word made flesh. I thank my two closest friends who encouraged me to remember what I love about pastoring a local church, and to do those types of things as I continue to serve as a district superintendent. I thank our son, Henry, for paying attention to things that too many of us miss. I thank George Frideric Handel and Isaac Watts for writing the tune and words that combine to make “Joy to the World.” And I thank you for taking this journey with me.
Merry Christmas, friends.