Grace Notes in the Desert

Grace Notes in the Desert is written for the saints of Rio Grande Presbyterian Church and the surrounding community.

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Grace Notes acknowledges we need God's grace and forgivness as much as the desert water.



My latest ’saying’ (in Spanish, ’Dichos”) for when things get difficult is:“Well, at least, it’s not Syria” ( a country where millions live, or have lived in , or died because of, the dark—both literally and metaphorically).

When Jesus was born, he, also, entered a world with a lot of darkness. Maybe that’s why the Star of Bethlehem—which some believe was not a star at all, but a conjunction of three planets—shone so brightly?  As if God wanted to say in Christ’s birth what the writer of John’s Gospel did say: “The Light shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot overcome it.” 

Advent—beginning Nov. 27—is a time to hold on to that thought; and to remember God’s light is greater than this world’s darknessSometimes we’re tempted to disbelieve that;  or, to imagine the time in   which we live as darker than others in history; but, Jesus was born under a blanket of night (figuratively and literally) in a time of Roman oppression,  invading, foreign armies, and, almost as many problems, as...Syria. 

I hope you will hold on to that in whatever season you journey; and we will hold on to God’s light, together, in this season of Advent.

Yours in Christ’s Service,
 Pastor Linda


Grace Notes 

Texas poet Naomi Nye writes in her poem: “What People Do”
"November    November     November  the days crowd together                          like families of leaves    in a dry field  
I pick up a round stone    take it to my father   who lies in bed                      waiting for his heart to mend…  
 …More and more I understand what people do                                                           I appreciate the daily braveries    clean white shirts                                              morning greetings between old men  
 Again I see how    once the boat tips    you never forget                                       the sensation of drowning  even if you sing yourself the familiar songs  
 …I would tell my father      I cannot move one block without you                           I will never recover from your love   
 yet I stand by his bed saying things I have said before    and he answers              and we go on this way       smoothing the silences      nothing can heal..."

It’s been eight years since my father was alive to grace our Thanksgiving table.  I miss him.  I don’t know how your table has changed this year-- God knows there’s always a bit of a new configuration (an empty chair, a new high chair, a guest, a college student?).

Whatever Thanksgiving looks like for you this year, I hope you’ll make plans to join us here at Rio Grande Church, Sunday, November 13,, following worship at 10:00 am for what we’re dubbing an ‘Alternative Thanksgiving Banquet’ (no turkeys, just bring your favorite New Mexican side dish). Session will bring the entres and desserts. Sign-up sheets in Fellowship Hall.

That Sunday, we’ll also bring our pledge cards (watch for them in the mail) and share thanks for what God’s doing in our life and ministry and mission together.  Some folks like to say ‘we’re all replaceable’, but that’s not true.  Each of us are unique, one-of-a-kind; and you and your gifts are needed here.

With gratitude and thanks-giving for each of you,
Pastor Linda