Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The Nugget, Dec 2005

For a child has been born for us,
a son given to us.
Isaiah 9.6

A Christian Ed Director went to his church one Saturday during Advent to put up a sign advertising the upcoming Children’s pageant. As he began putting it all together, he realized he had forgotten the name of the program and the exact dimensions of the sign.

He and his wife had been discussing the pageant just that morning, so he called her for the information. She said she would find the information and call him back. A few minutes later she called but the janitor answered the phone. He was shocked as he relayed a very strange

“Unto us a child is born; 8 feet long and 3 feet wide!”

This Advent season at First Congregational Church, we prepare our hearts once again for the gift of Bethlehem. It is a gift that is always much bigger than we can ever imagine. What an awesome thing it is to understand that phenomenal truth yet once more: “To us a child is born!” That is indeed a gift from God that can make our heads spin when we consider the depth of its meaning.

It has meaning for us as we consider this time of transition in which we find ourselves. It has meaning for us as we look with faith to an uncertain future. It has meaning for us as we seek to deepen our spiritual life together as people of God.

With all that will be happening in the church in this month of December, the real challenge is how to appreciate this amazing gift we have been given, and not let all the “busy-ness” keep us from doing that.

Arnold Palmer was invited to play golf in Saudi Arabia some years ago. The King with whom he played was so impressed that he wanted to give Arnie a gift.

“Please,” Palmer said, “That is not necessary.”

“But I insist,” the King replied.

After a moment’s thought, the American golfer said, “How about a nice golf club, then? That would be a pleasant memento of my trip.”

Just before he return to the States, expecting to receive a gold plated driver or a fancy new 9 Iron, Arnie was presented with the TITLE to a golf club, complete with 1,000 acres of real estate, on which was a golf course, club house, trees and all the rest!

Our Sovereign has given us something that boggles our minds as well. As Advent makes its way into Christmas, may each of us receive a truly amazing surprise. Because the gift we have been given is far more exquisite, far more valuable, and carries a far greater promise of peace in our lives and in our world than we think.

May God’s richest blessing be yours this Advent and Christmas. And may the activities and opportunities for worship and witness that you read about in these pages enable you to make this glorious season everything it can be for you and your family.

“Thanks be to God for the inexpressible gift!” (2 Cor. 5.19)

Steve Shepard
Interim Pastor