Florence Congregational Church
Thursday, February 20, 2020
A Place to Connect

Pastor Irv’s Corner - December 2013


Wow!  Can you believe it?  It’s here.  December is here, whether you’re ready or not.  One month to go and the year of 2013 is history.  It has come so quickly and in a few short days it will be gone.  The season of Advent is often smothered by the craziness of the world’s materialism.  The most fragile patterns of birth and growth, the most tender messages of maternal life-giving spirit, the most supremely magnificent visions of divine favor, the greatest love ever present; these are all smothered by the frantic, dazzling spectacles of big-time selling and buying sprees that are so vital these days to our national economy.  Just listen to the news, the frantic marketing of “black Friday” storewide sales, and economist’s projections.

            I know during these times the church is most important in my life; I can’t “be” or exist without it.  It is just that I need the peace, quiet, and silence of the sanctuary to contemplate the anxieties of life that seem to trouble too many people these days.  It is peaceful and refreshing to just stop and think about what is most important and what can be set aside.  I need the songs and hymns that speak to Jesus’ birth.  I need the momentary acts of compassion for humankind, so that I can remember what is really important and essential.

            I like to step into the sanctuary and sit at times with the dim light of the window candle lights or the brightly burning Advent candles.  I like to look up at the cross and to be in the meeting house built for the purpose of gathering God’s people into God’s presence.  These special moments - encounters with God, strengthen me for life in the world of mayhem and chaos.  It centers me, prepares me, and refocuses me with clearer vision and sense of purpose.

            It is during December that I am reminded of the difficult journey we travel as Christians.  I recognize that the Christian way of life is a tough road to follow.  People report that Christianity is at a low… that we are in the minority group who still worship God our creator.  Instead of “Happy Holidays,” we insist that we be allowed to declare “Merry Christmas.”  We must be intentional in the way we think, behave and make choices.  We must be compassionate in how we treat others, in the way we make time for other people, and in the way we attempt to bless one another.  Our love of Christ shows in the way we interact with one another through our acts of compassion and mercy.

            As you begin this month of craziness, chaos and frenzy, remember to take a deep breath every once and a while.  Be intentional about asking these simple questions.  “Lord, what will you have me to do this day?  How might I bless you and others in my work today?  Listen to the words of a close friend:


I pray for careful walking; may each of my steps bless the earth.

I pray gracious talking; may each word I utter bless the ear that receives it.

I pray for fellowship that is solid and joyous; may each action and each word in our life together nourish and build up each of us.

And I pray that silence of he coming of the Holy One may be a gift we each receive.

As many of us ask, “Is there enough silence for the Word to be heard?

More than ever this year, I am reaching for that silence.


Merry Christmas!!

Pastor Irv



Florence Congregational Church • 130 Pine Street, Florence, Massachusetts 01062 • 413.584.1325


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