October 24, 2018
As I was walking out the driveway for an early morning walk, there was a freshness that I hadn’t experienced for a while. The sky seemed extra clear, with a wisp of wind blowing and I could get the light smell of the wood burner. I turned on my wireless headphones and started Pandora for a little music to start me out. As I rounded the corner from driveway to road the song “I Can Only Imagine” started to play. I looked to the sky and could see the various constellations, and I started thinking about how awesome our God is. When I looked to the east, I could see the faint hint of red, signaling that the new day was about to dawn. I was thinking of the message from Sunday and wondering what my six-word story was; I am forgiven, now new life; Jesus has a plan for me; I am loved and cared for… and the song kept playing, I can only imagine.
What can I only imagine? What will life really be like when Jesus returns, or I go to meet him. What can I only imagine when I think of life with a heavenly Father who sent his one and only Son and gave me the Holy Spirit to live in me and guide me and comfort me and convict me and lead me and….so much love. I can only imagine what it must be for him when he looks at me and all of us humans.
On this particular morning as the bright moon was setting in the west and the sun had not yet appeared, I stepped on the side of the road and twisted my ankle in a nasty way twice. When I looked down in front of me, I couldn’t distinguish between road and side of road (since our skinny little road doesn’t have lines painted on the side) but when I focused out way in front of me, I could see the difference. I had to focus on where I was going, to see where I was. I was reminded that in life, I need to focus on Jesus to know where I am and where I should be. It’s keeping the long view in sight that helps the present make sense.
This coming week Pastor Brad will be preaching from Matthew 7:21-24. You can read all of chapter 7 in preparation. What does it mean to be a follower of Jesus Christ? Will everyone go to heaven? The question we need to ask is, “what does it mean to be in a relationship with Jesus Christ?”
We will also be celebrating communion together. Christ came and died on a cross for our sins. He died for our sins. It’s a reality that is mind-boggling to think about. Before we were born, he made a way for us to be in a right relationship with the Father. And then he commanded us to celebrate communion to remember what he did for us.
This time of year, the question is often raised about celebrating Halloween. There have been a lot of things written about Halloween and I would be glad to chat with anyone about it. Here are a couple of thoughts. The roots of celebrating Halloween and trick or treating go back to a Celtic holiday celebrating the end of a year. It was believed that people came back from the dead and chose which animal they would embody for the coming year. It has been a holiday that celebrates darkness and death. Satanic worshipers celebrate it as their highest holiday of the year. So, for myself, as much as I love fall and believe that one of the biblical commands is to celebrate what God has given us and celebrating the “first fruits” of harvest, that is very different than celebrating what Halloween has been about for many years. So, for myself I choose to not celebrate Halloween, and the death and spiritual darkness that seems to go with it. I do choose to celebrate life and the abundance of what God has given us. In a world that deals so much with suicides, death, murders, wickedness and so much fear, I believe as Christians we shouldn’t encourage our children to dress up and validate those things.
Love to all!