Pastor Hans Lillejord sermon February 5,2017 is online.
The brain is a very wonderful thing. Not only does it receive, interpret and record information on a daily basis but with the passage of time, the wonderful mind sorts and orders our experience. When it does, it gives increased worth to all the memories and recollections of events that seemed so unimportant in our earlier years.
When we grow up, we began to understand the nature of human thought and wisdom. And as our maturity looks back in time, it teaches us that what may have appeared important to us when we were young loses much of that importance as we get older. And, conversely, what we may have taken for granted gains in value as time passes.
"I made a great mistake in my youth" wrote one man in his diary. I supposed that what was important to me then would remain important for a life time, like winning at football, buying my first automobile, dating the most attractive girl in my class, and being invited to join a fraternity in college, were all matters which might have an eternal value. But age has brought me home to the great lesson we must all learn. As memory takes me back to my childhood - the sports, the cars, the puppy loves, are all gone. And in their place are the sacred hours spent with my father and mother - hours of work, play, of discipline; irreplaceable hours with parents who are no more.
The truth is that those words provide us all with insight. For those of us who are parents, we learn that we do not always have to be understood by our children to be loved by them. And the love we give them, even if it includes a portion of discipline, will be more valued in time. We come to understand that there is no more important time than that which we spend with our children. To provide children with happy, meaningful memories is a primary responsibility of parenthood.
Santa Lucia is a shared celebration with two other area churches with Swedish roots. In Sweden, St. Lucia Day, celebrated on December 13th, proclaims the arrival of the Christmas season.
Traditionally, St. Lucia, usually the eldest daughter, is dressed in a white gown with a red sash around her waist. She is adorned with a crown of lingonberry branches with four lighted candles. She carries coffee and a breakfast of sun-colored saffron buns and gingerbread cookies to her parents. Her sisters and brothers follow, all dressed in white. The girls carry lit candles and the boys (star boys) wear tall pointed hats.
Lucia is also known as the Queen of Light and she symbolizes hope during the darkest time of year.
Service begins at 7:00p.m.
What Is Really Needful
All of us seem to revel in the fact that we are "so busy". There are so many things to do, so many responsibilities that pull us for our time. Technology was supposed to simplify our lives but it seems to have made are lives more crowded. As soon as we seem to invent a system to simplify one task, another responsibility moves in to take control of whatever time we have saved. It may be true that we get more things done by making more efficient use of our time, but it may also mean that as our lives become more full, more complex, more detailed some of the more important aspects of living receive less attention or are forgotten altogether.
How many times have we justified the time we spend away from families, justified the neglect families suffer because of careers, pleasures, or other distractions? "I'm doing these things for you" neglected families are often told. And, while that may be partly true, it does not make the neglect any less real. A boy once received such an explanation from his father, who never had time to play ball with him. The boy said, "The trouble; dad, is that I'm not in your book". "Book", said the father, "what book"?
"You know", the boy replied, "the book you write your appointments in, the one where you keep track of meetings with important people. "I'm not in there!"
Jesus spoke about these things, the problem of mismanaged priorities. The occasion was when he visited the home of Mary, Martha and Lazarus. While Mary set at the feet of Jesus, learning of salvation, Martha worked the kitchen and was very annoyed that Mary did not help her. Finally, Martha complained to Jesus who answered her, "Martha, Martha, you are careful and troubled about many things; but only one thing is needful: and Mary has chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her. (Luke 10:41-42