Well worn faith

News | November 30, 2022

The theme of this year’s Advent devotion is: Do you see what I see? An array of St. Paul voices selected a photo or photos that hold very special memories to them, then sat down and reflected on what that photo means to them. What do they see and remember that others may not when looking at this photo? Through their words and stories, hopefully, you’ll see a little of what they see.

Just a month ago, I attended my home church’s 150th anniversary in Preston, Iowa. It was a celebration for the church, community, and the individuals and families that have been a part of the small church for a century and a half. When I was a child, my mother and neighbors took turns traveling several miles on country gravel roads each Sunday so that my siblings and neighbors could have a Christian education. We also wanted to earn the coveted perfect attendance pin!

In both of the photos, I’m on the right, and my friend Marie is on the left. In the older photo, we are each holding our first Bibles. I continue to cherish this Bible, especially because it has a concordance to search for Biblical concepts unknown to me. As I have grown in the faith, I have purchased many different types of Bibles to read and study scripture, but this 1952 RSV, with the spine cover worn off and yellowed pages still carefully sewn together, reminds me that I too, show some age.

The color photo was taken at the 150th-anniversary party where we reminisced and renewed our hope for the future. My friend Marie has been an active member of this congregation all of her life, serving others through Christian love in various capacities. She’s seen many more Christmas programs in this church than most, so she has a wealth of knowledge and history of how people have proclaimed Jesus’ birth story. Whether you prefer to read Luke Chapter 2 or  Matthew Chapter 1, it’s important that we celebrate Christ’s birth each year. No matter where or how you choose to serve God and celebrate Jesus’ birth, may you continue to have Christ’s love deep in your heart.

Beverly Downey-Eads is married to St. Paul member Dennis Eads. An education consultant, Bev loves horses, children, spending time with family, and serving others.

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