Looking out my window today I’m pondering celebrations. We just made it through Thanksgiving last week and soon Christmas will be here! Believe it or not, but we’re already planning for Christmas at the radio station with two Santa Claus parades on the schedule. Sunday, November 20th is the Cobourg Santa Claus parade and then the following Saturday, November 26th we will be in the Port Hope Santa Claus parade. This year – as in past years – as part of the Cobourg parade we will hand out “Operation Christmas Child” shoeboxes. It’s a wonderful time of year to think of kids in other countries that may not receive much for Christmas. “Operation Christmas Child” gives you an opportunity to fill a shoebox with gifts which are then sent to children overseas. We started handing out the boxes a couple years ago and the response has been wonderful! Every year we hear great stories of parents having a wonderful time helping their children bless a child overseas.
Even though we celebrated Thanksgiving last week, I usually try to convince my wife to celebrate Thanksgiving in November as well. After all, we lived for a number of years in the United States, so I just got used to celebrating Thanksgiving in both October and November. Thanksgiving is always a great time to gather with family and friends and be thankful for the many blessings we have as well.
On Saturday, October 22nd UCB Radio 90.7FM is celebrating four years of broadcasting in the area with our annual Hope Celebration. This year the event – which includes a silent auction, music with Will Walker and other fundraising activities – will be held at the Lions Community Centre on Elgin Street in Cobourg. Doors open at 6:30pm and tickets are available at the door for just $15. While this is a fundraiser for the radio station as we are a recognized charity in Canada, it is also a time we celebrate the fact that we provide family-friendly radio full of hope and encouragement every day.
All this celebration talk reminds me of another important celebration. In Matthew 22 Jesus tells a parable about a “king who prepared a feast and a celebration for his son”. The king sent invitations to all his royal friends, but none of them showed up. The table was set, but they refused to come. This of course upset the king and he then said to his servants, “The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. So go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you can find. The servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, both bad as well as the good and the hall was filled with guests” (Matthew 22:8-10).
We live in a world where many activities pull us in a number of directions. Sometimes the most important activities find themselves pushed aside by what is known as the tyranny of the urgent. If we’re not careful, high priority items – like spending time with the king – are pushed aside and suddenly we find ourselves missing a banquet celebration. Other times we fall into the trap of what I call “stinkin’ thinkin’” which makes us believe we’re not “good enough” for the banquet invitation. The Good News is – all are invited to the banquet celebration prepared by the King of king’s.
Which category do you fall into today? The missed out because of the “tyranny of the urgent” thinking? Or the “stinkin’ thinkin’” mindset? The table is set and you’re invited to the UCB Radio 90.7FM Hope Celebration banquet on Saturday, October 22nd. Come on out and find hope and encouragement as you travel through this journey called life.
Looking Out My Window is a regular column in the Northumberland Todaynewspaper located in Cobourg, Ontario, Canada.