I’ve been thinking about how to give a sneak peak at a surprise announcement that we’ll be making this Sunday about our January Sermon Series that we’re titling, “God, How Do You Care?”. It’s a series where we will discover new and fresh ways that God not only loves and cares for us, but also how God loves and cares for our neighbors and our world through us. Our stuff. Our words. Our talents and circumstances. Our work.
So, below are two clues. You can share your guess at what the surprise announcement will be using the form, below. Have fun!
I can’t wait to spill the beans at the beginning of worship on Sunday. Log in early so you don’t miss it!
I’ve been thinking a lot about joy.
The brightest and best at Harvard say that joy is essential. In fact, studies have even shown that happiness is directly related to our overall health. In other words, the healthier we are, the happier we become. In Together: The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World, Dr. Vivek Murthy, the 19th Surgeon General of the United States says that status, wealth, achievement, and fame doesn’t guarantee happiness (p. 33). For Murthy, it’s proven and predictable neuroscience. Happiness comes from a connection with another human being. On one hand, I think we can all resonate with how isolation makes us grumpy, cranky, irritable, sad, anxious, and everything else we may characterize as “unhappy”. No doubt, pandemic purgatory has lessened our happiness quotient. On the other hand, I can think of plenty of happy people who are perfectly content with our current introverted lifestyle.
So, where do we find joy - a steady happiness that doesn't leave us during a pandemic?
How can we bring joy because we have God’s gift of joy in Jesus?
And just so you know. . . you bring me joy! Love you all.
“Next to the Word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world. It controls our thoughts, minds, hearts, and spirits...”.
That quote comes from the Forward to Georg Rhau's Symphoniae which was written by Martin Luther in 1538. Perhaps that’s what makes Christmas music so powerful.
Christmas music helps me experience the hope, peace, joy, and love we all need right now. And even though Christmas might be a little different for us this year, the truth is: For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6).
Here are my Top Five Favorite Pieces of Christmas music. Take a listen (or watch) and I hope you’ll see why they capture my thoughts, mind, heart, and spirit with the good news of Emmanuel - God is with us, in Jesus.
I hope these songs bring you the hope, peace, joy, and love of Jesus this Advent season!
Go ahead and share with me some of your favorite Christmas music! I’d love to add it to my playlist.
Love you all!
Meet Pastor Tim
Tim Bayer has served as Our Savior's Lead Pastor since September 2019. He also serves as an Adjunct Instructor at Concordia University - Irvine, a National Leadership Facilitator and Resource, and a Community Mental Health First Aid Instructor.