Monday, January 09, 2006
The final moments marking the close of this year's Epiphany celebration approach as we burn another yule tide log and sing around the burning branches of the tree. Norman Rockwell would have been tickled with our celebrations this year. I can picture him now in my mind's eye feverishly capturing each moment with his unique gift for seeing more than the eye could possibly take in. I think there are times when I truly understand his sense of humor. Like this evening as the final goodies of the festive season began to magically emerge from the dark recesses of our oven. The cookies were great(even though they have not been iced or properly decorated as yet. I have the unique position of final examiner, there were some from these batches that did not meet my high standards and as a result were disposed of properly)and will get better tomorrow. The cherry pie was the epitome of perfection though, and has passed with flying colors the taste test! With this season over and a new one about to begin on our christian calender, I wonder how many of the world's faithful are ready to deny themselves something? Today's world does not really provide us with a clear background of what it means to be in denial unless you're undergoing therapy or counseling for some mental aberration. In an age when we pop prozac to make life bearable and analgesics to alleviate pain we are presented with an opportunity to take the road less traveled. The cleansing of the body and subjection of it were part and parcel of the early church. Even now in the 21st century there are those who espouse the enlightenment that comes through fasting. Obviously, as you can imagine from the table, I am one who enjoys the epicurian delights poured forth from our kitchen as though from a virtual "horn of plenty!" There are times we worry more about the ten(alright20\25)pounds we need to drop than the baggage we carry with us spiritually that bogs us down and prevents our rising above the mortal shell. Perhaps that is what the coming weeks were intended to be for the believer, an encouragement to grow inwardly in contrast to outwardly. I'm going to give this some thought as we move into our congregation's "Forty Days Of Purpose." Author Rick Warren has provided us with a wonderful resource for helping us discern why we are here. I usually respond off-handedly to that question with, "Well, everybody has got to be someplace!" My goal is to become more Christ-like. The daily walk is not an easy one, and throws a lot of water in the direction of the old adage, "Getting there is half the fun!" If we could but consider that the journey we share in life is one of "becoming," then perhaps we would have a mutual starting point. As for where I am today, I have no doubts. I also have the insight of knowing where my destination is. As for the journey that will be accomplished....I pray about that. In Christ's Love, Preacher.