Chimes November 2019

Psalm 117
Psalm 117:1-2  “PRAISE the LORD, all you nations!  Extol him, all you peoples!  2  For great is his steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever.  Praise the LORD!”
Well there you have it.  The shortest of all the Psalms and yet how appropriate for this season. 
Praise the Lord all you nations. Extol him allyou peoples.  This is a universal call for a joyous song of thanks-giving.  A recognition of the all-encompassing love of the Creator. 
It’s a call for praise and thanksgiving unbounded by national pride or borders. 
It’s a call to extol; what is “to extol”?  To Praise enthusiastically.  And weren’t we extolling last Sunday at our little Sunday Service.  I felt it.  It was joyous!  The Holy Spirit is present in our midst.  She is undeniable.
It’s a call to open our doors and open our hearts and to share the blessing that we experienced, the uplifting of our souls. 
Life is not always kind but the love of the Creator is steadfast and enduring.
Let’s take hold of all opportunities to share the what we have experienced in that joy in the Holy Spirit!
Peace and Happy Thanksgiving, Pastor Steve

October 2019

Your Dwelling Place

Psalm 84:1-7

84:1  How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts!

Looking around at the beauty of the area in which we find ourselves living today, how can one help but appreciate our “dwelling” place.  Nestled into the Hudson Valley, sheltered from most severe weather and other natural extremes.

Indeed, the sparrow, swallow and the Bald Eagle all find their homes here along with the with the host of creatures we love to coexist with and I guess a few we’d just as soon not see at all.

84:4  Happy are those who live in your house, ever singing your praise. Selah. 

Holy One, we can only give thanks for the blessing of Your House, which is all of creation, of which we are not only a part but “caretakers or stewards” as well.  Your House, our earth, so powerful and abundant in life and yet apparently not without limits. 

Your gift of imagination and ingenuity have led us to each new source of energy and power driving our social and scientific development.  Although we have not always foreseen the future effects of our current driving force, we pray that the same imagination leads us to a cleaner planet for all of Your creation to be in.  Even today, as we contemplate leaving our earth to walk on other worlds, let’s not leave a dying planet but a thriving world.

84:5  Happy are those whose strength is in you, in whose heart are the highways to Zion. 

Yes!  Happy are those of us who do find our strength in the presence of the Creator.  As we gather together each Sunday to praise and worship, we strengthen our hearts and our resolve.  We long for our hearts to truly become “highways to Zion”, highways to the Holy One.  Together we will be livers of the greatest commandment, “Loving God above all and loving our neighbor as ourselves.”  Respect for Creation and love for all people. 

Peace, Pastor Steve

April 2019 Chimes

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From Pastor Steve
I am about to do a New Thing
Isaiah 43:16-21
As I walked to the Post Office the other day I noticed some crocuses popping up from the cold, barren ground. They were beautiful but they still seemed out of place. The first day of spring had come and gone but it still seemed like winter. The world hadn’t caught up with my calendar expectations.
Sometimes our expectations of social change, change and growth in our church right here in Red Hook and in the Big Church as well seems like it is just not happening. We may have a sense that it’s time for the old rules to give way to the new reality, a new and broader way of thinking and relating to all people. We may be disappointed to find that the ground is still frozen but spring is coming.
Isaiah says (43:18-19) “Do not remember the former things or consider the things of old. 19 I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”
God is about to do a new thing, it may not be on our timetable but a new thing is coming. Crocuses, tulips, roses and the fruit of a new season. He will make all things new.
Peace, Pastor Steve