“But about that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father... Keep awake therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.” But understand this: if the owner of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore, you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.” MATTHEW 24:36,42-44 NRSV
Can you believe it’s that time of year again? It seems like only yesterday you and I were celebrating our first Advent season together and now it has been six…six! I thank God for each and every one of you, yes, every one of you, every day and I pray for all y’all continuously. I wonder, do you hear what I hear? Do you see what I see? Do you see the star rising in the sky...again? Do you see the dawn on high breaking down upon us?
Each week I walk in amongst you all and try to teach, as I preach, I try to step out of the way and let the Holy Spirit enter the conversation. Each week I am energized (are you surprised...lol?) just as I begin to greet all y’all. All the "stuff" the week had brought seems to lift off my shoulders.
Anne Lamott tells a story in which she didn't feel she could even go to church because she didn't quite have the right attitude, she would be a "buzzkill." Then suddenly she remembered, something her pastor told the community of believers in one of her sermons...sometimes "you think you need to get it together before you come to God and community, but actually, you may not be ABLE to get it together until you come to God and community." She reminded me that it was once said that "80% of life is just showing up." She "got her 'voice back ...she rejoiced"… our voices are back let’s rejoice together.
We come not as a body, smooth and full, happy with no problems or concerns but a body chipped and maybe even broken and leaking, a body with worries about health, jobs, age, family, friends. But I ask you to reflect that we are called to reflect the face of Jesus, the light of our world and in that reflection, we have the opportunity to bring a piece of that light within us, to bring peace to those around us. I heard it said by an elder here; “light not only comes in via the cracks it also shines out of them!”
We are not built to go it alone...
God gives us each other...
Yes, the Body of Christ.
You and me with God's only begotten Son
so, we might contribute and
be part of the body...
to heal and be healed.
Pastor’s Pondering continues… The good news, the news that we should be thankful for, ready for, is that the unexpected hour has come, and we celebrate the Son who was born, whose light shines on us, who taught, who died, who rose for us. Each one of us has His light shining through our cracks that heal each other when we see that light. So, as the Psalmist states in 118:27 “The Lord is God, and God has made God’s light to shine on us.” Let that same light shine from you.
The light that comes from that little babe, in the manger, grows up to save each one of us. The little babe brings us back into the right relationship with our loving God. The little babe's hand reaching up and out towards us.
You and I are called to offer the helping hand, the glancing smile, the warm greeting that will ... notice I didn't say might... will brighten someone's day... and perhaps yours will be too! Sing loud... Smile brightly... Grasp the hands you touch more firmly and stay awake because the Son has come .... lowly, in a manger of humble beginnings a stature of the Living God.
I urge all y’all to reach out to each other, to those you have not seen in a while and to those that you see perhaps all the time. Reach out let them know that you have missed them, that you treasure them, and that you really would like to see them again. Invite each other to worship, to Sunday School, to Bible Study, to Fellowship, to... God is calling us to get back at it! Once you start it becomes easier and easier, and you will solidify a loving relationship! In fact, I challenge you to invite a friend or neighbor to come to church with you.
The time is upon us... We will gather and worship. We will sing familiar songs. Perhaps we will smile more brightly (especially now that we are gathering again!) and we will give thanks for each other in this Season of Advent. We gather, together, as the body of Christ, on Sundays, on Cantata Sunday, on The Longest Night, and on Christmas Eve... we give thanks for our King… the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, the Prince of Peace who reigns forever and ever. Amen
Peace, Pastor Ken