A friend of mine recently told a group of us that he has a minor condition with his nervous system.
And I asked what I thought was the obvious question: “Why don’t we have a calm system?”
Forty years ago yesterday, January 7, 1979, I became a Christian.
I had been baptized as an infant in the Episcopal Church, but by the time I was four or five, my mom stopped going herself or taking her kids. So I never went to Sunday School, never attended VBS, never was confirmed, never went to youth group.
Yesterday’s message …
I may have told some of you this before, but about about 14 yrs ago, right before we moved into this bldg, and I just had the worst week at week. Poorly executed decision at just the wrong time, big mess, dogs & cats living together. Anyway, early one morning that week I was taking my kids to catch a ride to school. They couldn’t drive yet; now they are both married & gone so this ain’t no yesterday story. Anyway, on that day in that week, one of them (I know who it was but I am going to keep it anonymous to protect his identity) said exactly the wrong thing and I stopped the car, put it in Park (that’s how you KNOW this is serious!) and just laid into them. I was ticked at my kids and I suspect it was loud enough the whole subdivision knew about. But you know what I realized? I wasn’t really mad at them; I was mad at church, at the situation, at my own dumb timing. I felt powerless to fix a situation here and as I took it out on my suddenly shivering kids they must have wondered, “Who took our dad and replaced him with an axe murderer?!” I had stuff going on, the wrong thing happened at the wrong time, and all of a sudden I was UP IN ARMS. (They would have said OUT OF HIS MIND.)
Have you noticed?
Have you noticed how so many people are so mad these days?
Mad at each other. Mad at traffic. Mad at politicians. Mad at themselves.
And … have you noticed that the same people keep getting mad at the same things? And maybe, just maybe, have you noticed that you’re one of those people?
Each week, our staff receives Prayer Cards from our Children’s Ministry. The Prayer Cards contain prayer requests from the youngest folks in our church.
Here’s the one I received last week:
A first grader praying to have “a liven relat[ion]ship with God.”
I love the last line of the Apostles’ Creed:
[. . . I believe] in the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting. Amen.
While the Creed may not have the same level of authority as inspired Scripture, it nevertheless represents the best of the collective wisdom of early Christians.
And they described our eternal hope as “the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting.”
Julie and I took off on Christmas Day for several days away, and so Chris Thayer, our Zoar Campus Pastor, preached “live” at Moss and via hologram to Zoar.
I gave Chris some unusually specific direction for this message — he knew he was concluding the series Wait For It, and he knew his message needed to connect Jesus’ first coming at Christmas with his second coming at the end of all days.
Well, you could hardly have a Good Shepherd series called Wait For It and NOT title one of the Sundays “The Waiting Is The Hardest Part,” could you?
So this Sunday both the sermon series AND 2018 wind up with a message called exactly that.
We have our NORMAL Sunday time schedule this week …
This Christmas made me think of the one when I was 16, in Dallas, and ALL I wanted was the cassette tape of Led Zeppelin’s Houses Of The Holy album. That was IT.
(Unfortunately, in a behavior pattern that continues in many respects to this very day, I didn’t tell anyone what I wanted and then got secretly angry with them for not getting it for me.)
This is an unusual preaching week, which means it is also an unusual blogging week.
Sunday’s message in the Wait For It series was called Worth The Wait and I was delighted to see the impact it at on so many lives in our church.
Then for Christmas Eve the series went to The Wait Is Over. Drawing from Luke 2 with support from Romans 8, and then meandering through our move to Kentucky in 1987 and touching on those times when you KNOW people are talking about you, the message arrived at one of my favorite Christmas Eve bottom lines: