Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Wonder what God will be up to this year?

           Sitting here in my office, I am faced with the left-overs of the holiday rush. There are stacks of papers, reference books, news articles I thought I might use, files, letters, Christmas cards, used bulletins, scribbled-on pads, and just a lot of stuff that needs to be cleaned out. During the season of Advent I did intend to set aside at least an hour or two to clean up my office. But it seems like my intentions just haven’t panned out. The New Year is upon me, and so now I must give up my procrastination and “get ‘er done.”  I can’t start the New Year in such a mess!

 I am glad that January is almost here. I like new beginnings. I like it when I open that new bag of chips, or pull out a new pair of socks, or open a book for the first time. I like things when they feel fresh and new. The possibilities of a new year always make me feel hopeful, for who knows what wonderful things God might do this year.

                Whatever God intends to do around Long Shoals this year, I am hoping and praying that God will use me in it. Since I have known God for a while, and I have studied some, I have come to know a little…a very little…about who I believe God is, and some of the things I might expect God to be involved in this year.

                God is in love with us humans. Because of that love God desires the very best for us. So I could see God getting involved this year in activities and events that promote us to love and care for one another; checking on friends with visits and calls, getting together for fellowship, and offering help to one another.

                God also desires justice. When justice prevails, innocent people are not oppressed, and oppressors are thwarted. So, this year, I envision God being a part of ministries that help the poor, that tend to the sick, and that visit and offer friendship to those who are alone.

                I have also learned that God wants to be with us. So I am very sure that God will be involved when we worship, when we are praying or doing Bible study, or working, or playing or anytime we are seeking a closer relationship.

God’s desire to be with us and to have us intimately connected is revealed in the birth of Jesus, God’s son, who came to give us a way back through the muddle of our sins into a loving relationship with God.

                I believe God intends to do some great things in 2014. As yet I have not a clue to what those things could be. I'm not going to procrastinate. Rather I am going to join in with God’s ministry for 2014, whatever they may be. I know that they will be good for us all! Today though...I got to clean up this office!  
Happy New Year Y'all!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Advent Post 2

Today I’m thinking about a lot of things. It is the day before the 3rd Sunday of Advent, Saturday. With the season cranking up to a fever pitch, I begin to long for a quiet place of rest and peace…just for a minute. But if your world is like mine, it is difficult to find.
The small Advent calendar has been marking the days with tiny slips of the Word. They are meant to cheer us, meant to illumine our time of waiting, and meant to drop into our consciousness a bit of the real meaning of the season.
Today’s bit is striking me with both longing and joy. That Jesus will make me a house. I do long for the day when my house, my home will be exactly complete. A place where peace is easy to find, and joy is there for the taking; no more sorrow, no more ache, no more giving people up to death. Praise God for the sweet baby that God sent for us, for he has made all the difference!
I believe, do you?

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Advent Post

It is always a blessing when you get the word that someone was actually listening to your sermon! Sunday was the day our lectionary gospel text introduced John the Baptizer in the new Year A. We all would have rather had the run-up-to Christmas story to contemplate…but it was what it was. So I went with it.

I introduced John as a herald…explaining what exactly a herald's task was…the one sent ahead to announce an important coming event. The word did not get lost in the sermon, as one of my younger parishioners looked up at his grandmother and asked, “Who is Harold?”

I was thrilled that the little guy was listening.

God is still sending Harolds today. Who is heralding Jesus for you?

Happy 10th day of Advent!