Archive for December, 2009

What do you hear & see?

December 22, 2009

One of my favorite Christmas songs is Do You Hear What I Hear? It is only 37 years old, having been written in 1962. I remember singing it in high school choir and through today. Bing Crosby even has a great version of it. The story says it began with the wind speaking to a lamb who speaks to a shepherd who speaks to a King who speaks to everyone. This carol reminds us that Jesus turned things upside down revealing himself first to the lowly, the poor, the sinner and the outcast.

As we approach Christ’s birthday this week, what do you hear and see? I hear the carols that grace the season and the pleasing noise of children playing outdoors since school is out. I see the smiles of adopted families receiving gifts through the Coop. I hear the quietness of the season when I stop to meditate and pray. I see the hope of those who long for the new year to be better than the one passing.

Sometimes it takes a lamb or a child to help us really see and hear. This is the amazing revelation of God that Christmas brings. Unto us a child is born…Can you hear his good news of peace and joy spoken even for you? Can you see the promise of the better day coming that he has for you? Merry Christmas!!

FIRE AND FAITH

December 10, 2009

Yesterday we had a fire in our historic chapel. Severe damage occurred downstairs in the chapel and we have smoke damage in the chapel where our Children’s worship now occurs in wonderful ways. We will move this starting Sunday to the Youth Center. I am so grateful the damage was contained, the firefighters did a great job and our other buildings were unaffected.

Driving to the church after hearing the news, I thought I would never get there. Fire engines kept zooming past me and traffic was terrible. Just the day before we held our Drive Through Prayers and our spirits soured. Oh, our outlook can be like a roller coaster ride! Yet the spirit at the church last night was high. People rallied and rejoiced in our blessings: no one hurt, this can be fixed and God is so good. Everything goes forward, the church’s mission is undeterred!

Some of the children asked me why God would allow a fire at our church? I answered very reasonably that creation involves fires and rain, life and death. Then I also said something that surprised even me. I told them that I think God has a lesson in this for us. The church is not a building, but a people; a movement of God’s Spirit! He will teach us and bless us through this tragedy – He always does!!