Photos have an amazing way of bringing back old memories don’t they? No matter if you collect them in Albums, Scrapbooks, Facebook or Instagram – photo sharing is an important way of telling your families stories in a concrete way. You can point to and talk about who is in the picture, what they were doing and why that moment in time is still important to you today. Photos tell us not only what we were doing then, but what group or community was important as well. When my family was young, each summer we would take a photo at the photo booth at Midway Park. Over the years, we collected these strips of photos, and my husband created a collage. This collage (above) is one of my most cherished possessions. It reminds me of those early days, reminds me of how small my own children once were and continues to give me hope for the future. Pictures that we take at church have to same power to help us remember who we are and carry hope into the future days to come.
The Advent season was a time for many pictures of hope at First Lutheran Church. From Blanket Builds, Christmas Parades, Community Christmas Party, Bell ringing with SLYM youth and parents, visitation at Lutheran, 42 boxes filled and sent overseas with Operation Christmas Child ,Advent Supper, Families reading weekly Advent prayers, Lucia Festival’s 60th Anniversary, Choir and Sacred Fire sharing music each week in worship, Children’s Advocacy Training with 18 caring adults working to promote greater safety for children in our community, and Sunday School Staff, parents, guardians, teens and children working together as a team of 50 people shared this year’s “Sheep Tweets and Camel Tales” Sunday School program. All these moments were times where the hope of God’s message was shared richly.
What is the message that God is sharing in and through First Lutheran Church? I believe the message God is sending is: “I know you, I love you.” I know you and I love you, means that God know our weaknesses and strengths, our needs and dreams, and gave Jesus, “Not to condemn the world but to save the world through him,” (John 3:17)
It is almost a new year, a time where we all begin again. As we think of the year just past, let’s hold on to hope of Jesus; and take a step into many new opportunities to share God’s message. From youth to families, college and career, mid-life and seniors – God sends his message and asks us to share it with hope in our hearts.
“I know you and I love you”
Now, let’s begin again.
Peace and Grace,