Sunday, December 18, 2005
Fourth Sunday In Advent - 2005
Today was cold! Cheryl was off to work early with plans to take PTO for the service. I finally got the chance to do a solo prep with my grand daughter, Kyra, and we were on schedule until I lost my glasses. I didn't know at the time I was getting ready to leave that attendance would be way down today as a result of the weather. I went out to start the car at 9:15 only to discover the temp was reading negative four in the car(she does not prefer to be unplugged if the thermometer dips below zero). It took three tries before finally firing up on all six cylinders. Everything was on schedule, again, and Kyra waited patiently while I searched high and low for my glasses(without them I am a threat to everyone and everything when behind the wheel)with no good fortune. Finally, tired of waiting and watching as I went back and forth over all of the places I had been in the house Kyra said, "Why don't you just wear these(she was referring to my sunglasses which are prescription), the sun is bright outside?" And that is exactly what I did, there are times when the wisdom of a child far exceeds that of their elders! I didn't count the number in the sanctuary when we began(couldn't really see much at all), but there were faces that even from the pulpit I thought I recognized. Relatives of mine had come to hear me preach. I was actually shocked at them being there. They are both unchurched folk, and from the conversations we've shared since they returned to the Great American Desert, I had assumed(you know what that can mean)that they didn't go to services. Maybe they have never quite felt welcome in the congregations around here, but today they were a wonderful vision to behold! It never ceases to amaze me how God can be so busy about His business and leave me completely uninformed. I suppose that has to do with the amount of time I spend actively listening to what He is saying. I try, but, like most folks, even the preacher has a tough time with paying attention all the time. I give thanks tonight for the many blessings that accompanied the lighting of this year's forth Advent candle. More than we sometimes realize God has been busy planning our days and hours and minutes since before we were knit together in our mother's wombs. That is a direct reference to the words of the prophet Isaiah! He was right! God knows our needs better than we know them ourselves. Christmas is a time of giving and receiving. If you have not received Christ as your personal Savior as yet, maybe this is the time for you to enter into that moment of comittment that transcends the world. It's sort of like making it to the next level when you're doing video games(this is putting it so lightly I may get struck by lightning). You've wanted to get there, and when you finally do, you realize how easy it was and how good it is! Unconditional love is a wonderful experience in which to share! Wherever you are in your spiritual walk God will meet you there and make the rest of life's journey with you. In Christ's Love, Preacher.