Dear PVC Family,

The leaves are falling. The days are getting shorter. The election will soon be behind us (we hope!). But there seems to be no end in sight to this COVID-19 crisis. Thanksgiving is only weeks away, but how do we give Thanks in the middle of a pandemic?

I don’t know of any better place to go with that question than to Paul’s Letter to the Philippians. He writes his Letter from Rome where he has been brought in chains to stand trial for his life. In transit he survived a shipwreck due to a great November storm, called a Nor’easter! Then on the island of Malta, where the survivors sheltered, he survived the bite of a deadly viper. It seemed like the whole world was against him; and it was!

Now look and be amazed at the words he wrote to the church in Philippi:

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice!”

How can a man speak words of gratitude and joy from a place of such darkness? His next words tell us how:

“The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understand, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

There it is—the key to gratitude and peace is to be “in Christ Jesus.” There is no safer or better place in the universe, for He is our life! Now there’s a reason to Rejoice!

Happy Thanksgiving in Christ Jesus!

Pastor George