Day 30 – ’30 Days of Thankful’

It’s early on the first day of December as photoI record this blog. Yesterday, Saturday, the month of November concluded, and here I complete my spiritual and writing discipline for the month of ’30 Days of Thankful.’

IMG_0791 cropped and reducedMost of the morning a half dozen of us prepared a tree for the Community Christmas Tree Lighting Service in Dickens Heath Village for later in the evening. Bernard (with the tree) and I (with the lights) arrived early, followed by Anna and Nick. Anton popped by briefly with supplies for the evening, before Gloria brought the bows. And for two hours we made the tree ready for the service and for the month.

IMG_0798 cropped and reducedWith a tree donated by the Dickens Heath Parish Council, electrical supply donated by the Dickens Heath Village Hall for the tree lights, choir provided by Dickens Heath Community Primary School, and a service planned and led by Dickens Heath Village Church, we welcomed over 100 people to the community service. I’m thankful to each of these groups and the all the folks I met during the evening. I’m thankful for the joy on parents as they watched their children sing. I’m thankful for the joy of the children as they ‘officially’ kicked off their anticipation of the holiday and gifts. I’m thankful for the kind comments of the mums, dads and grandparents who took time to express ‘that was a lovely service, thank you.’

IMG_0804 cropped and reducedAfter carols, the choir, and a responsive reading, we made our way outside, turned off all the lights in the hall, then counted with the children our way down to the lighting of the tree. Wow, and a cheer went up! I led a blessing and a prayer over the tree, which I borrowed and modified from Sam Hargreaves:

As we light this Christmas Tree
Light of the world, shine on us.
As we prepare for Christmas time
Light of the world, shine on us.

In this world of pain and darkness,
Light of the world, shine through us.
To all the people who don’t know you,
Light of the world, shine through us.

Jesus you are coming again,
Light of the world, light the way.
In our service here today
Light of the world, light the way.

IMG_0806 reducedI’m thankful for these days of expressing gratitude.

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