125th Anniversary Devotional Booklet
First Presbyterian Church of Barre is a place where God works to make disciples of Jesus. Here we experience Christian community as we walk our spiritual journey with others. As disciples, we are strengthened by God’s Spirit to live out God’s love in word and deed.
This month will conclude the church’s celebration of being 125 years old.
During November, we had the chance to celebrate our history through song, story, worship, and remembrance. 675 cranes were created in memory and honor of people past and present who have been the body of Christ here. If you have not had the chance to see the paper cranes, names on the wings, you have to stop by and see them, remember and celebrate the lives of SO MANY SAINTS!
During December, we will gather in worship, to remember things that have supported and strengthened the spiritual lives of people and to call to heart and mind Christmas memories of people from within our congregation.
As has been the case in months past, you will find a daily reflection with a scripture, a reflection, and a question (or questions) for reflection. With a few exceptions, the scriptures for this month’s devotional are the daily lectionary readings (prescribed for this season) that will guide our hearts in preparation for Christmas, Christ’s coming. Our hope and prayer is for this devotional to inspire your own life, lead you closer to the God who came down in Jesus Christ, and increase your ties to God’s church.
As we begin this season of Advent (the weeks leading up to Christmas), may we experience the God Who Comes, and comes into our very lives, right here and now!
Carl Hilton VanOsdall
In the Pastor’s Study
First Presbyterian Church of Barre
On behalf of the Devotional Committee ~ Janet Fuhrmeister, Diane Nichols-Fleming and Carl Hilton VanOsdall
A special thanks to Winnie McCormick who has served as our editor and who has done a number of interviews for December’s devotional booklet.
Monday, December 1
Gospel Reading: Luke 20:1-8
1One day, as he was teaching the people in the temple and telling the good news, the chief priests and the scribes came with the elders 2and said to him, “Tell us, by what authority are you doing these things? Who is it who gave you this authority?” 3He answered them, “I will also ask you a question, and you tell me: 4Did the baptism of John come from heaven, or was it of human origin?” 5They discussed it with one another, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Why did you not believe him?’ 6But if we say, ‘Of human origin,’ all the people will stone us; for they are convinced that John was a prophet.” 7So they answered that they did not know where it came from. 8Then Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.”
We start this month’s devotions with a reflection from long-time church member, Doris Grant. Doris remembers many things about the life of the church. One of the first things that comes to mind is a prayer practice. Doris remembers how the Burlington Free Press used to run a daily prayer in their paper. She and her husband Albert would always read the daily prayer from the paper. One prayer stood out to Doris, one she and Albert had cut out of the paper, and one that they had committed to memory. Doris had recently found the clipping and knew that she still had the prayer committed to memory. With the prompting of the first three words of the prayer, Doris prays the prayer from her heart,
“God loves you when your dreams are bright…and when your hopes are dim….as long as you are humble and you place your faith in Him…He will protect and help your soul…Wherever you may be…In joy and glory of success…or deepest tragedy…God always watches over you…As He allowed your birth …to carry on creation, and…to populate the earth …Sometimes your life may seem quite strange…and hard to understand…But always somewhere, in some way…There is His guiding hand…And as you thank God humbly and …You try to be sincere…There will be nothing in this life…You ever have to fear.”
Questions for reflection:
What prayer or meaningful meditation do you have committed to memory? What were the circumstances of your learning the prayer? How has God used it to support your soul throughout the years?