I think about her often. She lived in a modest home built by her father. She walked with a limp; I was with her when she broke that leg. When I stayed overnight, we made fudge together. She taught me how to play poker. She was the first person I knew who had a remote on her TV, and yet, she never did get a dishwasher. She volunteered tirelessly. Her hospitality was comfortable and gracious, no pretense. Her door was always open. There was always room at her kitchen table. The coffee was always on.
She was my Grandma Elliott. She raised three children in the Great Depression. She carried the family on her back when my grandfather was ill. She loved me. I always knew that she loved me, and she loved Christmas.
She loved Christmas, the tree, the decorations, her family gathered at her house. The cards, the food, the friends, the music. She loved Christmas. She loved the story. The promise of new life stirring mysteriously in the womb of a virgin. The journey by donkey from Galilee to the sleepy village of Bethlehem. The stable, the shepherds, and the angels. The Christmas Star bearing witness to the light of the world. The lamb of God lying in a feed trough. The journey of the Wisemen as they sought the face of God.
It was just a few days before Christmas when she died. I was with her. Struck down by some strange disease that attacked her immune system. She had contracted the disease through a blood transfusion. The doctors did not even have a name for the disease then.
I remember that Christmas vividly. Presents under the tree from a Grandma who was gone. The celebration continued, carols were sung, the story was shared. Grandma loved the story.
▪ The light shines in the darkness.
▪ The cries of a baby who came to dry the tears of a thousand generations.
▪ The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.
Grandma loved the story.
My friends, don’t lose the story. Don’t let the story be obscured by the bright lights and advertising. Love the seasons. Love the traditions. But don’t lose the story. Come to church and hear. Invite friends to visit the story with you.
For unto YOU a child is born.
The TLC Church Choir and assorted guests will present a Christmas Concert on Sunday, Dec. 2 at 4 p.m.
The church choir and friends will present a selection of solos and duets, and then Benjamin Britten’s popular Christmas classic A Ceremony of Carols.
The choir and a soloist (our friend, Fumi Tagata) will sing this fascinating and vibrant piece accompanied by harp, played by Seattle harpist Alison Austin. We’ll have a dessert/snack reception following the concert. We’d love to have you bring a favorite snack to share. No admission — come and enjoy the music on this first Sunday of Advent, and start the season in style!
Children from TLC’s Sunday School started off today’s check distribution Sunday with a $100 donation they raised to give to God’s Global Village for the purchase of two goats for a family in a third-world country.
Checks are also being sent to several local, regional nonprofits plus CA Wildfire disaster relief and world hunger.
Local nonprofits include Helping Hand, Senior Resources of Island County, Good Cheer Food Bank, Gifts from the Heart Food Bank, Whidbey Island Homeless Coalition, and Hearts & Hammers, among several others. Trinity distributes about $250,000 throughout the year to charities.
Thank you for your generosity!
If you wish to make an online year-end donation to Trinity, please visit our website and click the donate button.
It is hard for us to comprehend the magnitude of the devastation; the grief and loss that is being experienced by our neighbors in California. 7,000 homes destroyed, entire communities gone, hundreds of thousands of people displaced.
100% of your gifts to Lutheran Disaster Relief will be used to assist those in fire-ravaged areas to survive and rebuild their lives. Lutheran Disaster Response teams are already on the scene, working with local and state agencies.
What can we do? We can pray, and we can give. We can give generously to those in need. We are Blessed to be a Blessing!
You can give by following this link on our church website.
You can also make out checks to TLC and put “Fire Relief” in the memo. Those checks can be mailed to TLC at PO Box 97, Freeland, Washington 98249. You could also drop a check off at church or put a check in the plate this Sunday.
Together we can make a difference.
Thank you in advance for your generosity.