Here is a picture that was sent in to our fresh life photo cast during the wild week of white. The center dividing yellow line was replaced by snowdrifts left by the snow plows as they clear the streets. These snowbanks were all over town making the city look like a kids snow fort. I love it. What I wasn’t expecting was how cold it got on Saturday night. I had to check several different weather services to make sure my phone’s weather app wasn’t acting crazy–I had to take a screen shot just to prove how cold it was. -22! Even though it was eleven at night I put a jacket on and went outside so I could say I had experienced such cold weather–the funny thing was that it felt the same as when it was 0 degrees outside. I guess after a certain point it’s just cold, just really, really cold. I will say that if there is any wind at all it is much, much worse. Even a 5 or 10 degree day can feel worse than sub-zero temperatures if there is a wind chill. I am sure that readers in California or Florida are probably wondering how any human could live in this and thanking God for where they live. I will say that I would have thought the same two years ago, but honestly you adjust and learn to dress for the weather and it is not as bad as you would think.
I hope you all have gotten your Christmas shopping done, and can just enjoy the next day and a half without any trips to the mall. If you haven’t–good luck! I did 75 percent of my Christmas shopping online 2 months ago and have picked off the last remaining gifts in the last couple days. Above all things I hope you truly enjoy this special season with your family and as you celebrate the love of a God who would put skin on and walk among us so that we could walk with Him in unbroken fellowship and love.
I probably have a few people in my church who think that I am an Ebenezer Scrooge sympathizer after I plowed on in Revelation this weekend instead of giving a Christmas message. It probably didn’t help that our text (Revelation 3:14-22) was Jesus’ letter to the church at Laodicea where he tells them because they are lukewarm He will vomit them out of His mouth. I called my message, “The Church That Makes God Gag.” After announcing that title, I knew I had better give some explanation–here is how I put it.
Some of you are probably thinking right about now—”Levi umm excuse me, I’m not sure if there like an Idiots guide to being a pastor You can consult but aren’t you supposed to be giving a seasonally appropriate message today?” “Where’s the feel good sermon about Baby Jesus, shepherds, and wise men?” “We are just days away from Christmas and you’re giving a message about God’s Gag Reflex!?”
But let’s think about it for a minute. Christmas is the day where we celebrate Jesus’ Birthday right? And if there was possibly something going on in our church, or in your life that made Him sick, what would make Him happier?
- To tell warm fuzzy stories about His birth?
- Or to deal with the problem so He was no longer nauseous?
I suggest we go on with our study and then we can properly enjoy His birthday celebration on Christmas Eve!
Well, however harsh it may have seemed–the text does contain one of the most beautiful verses in all of the Bible, Revelation 3:20 which says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” At the end of the service I pointed out that all of us have no doubt been preoccupied with making sure we get the right gifts for our loved ones–but that we shouldn’t forget about Jesus on His birthday. What do you give a God whose got everything? Of all things, if you haven’t yet, you should give Him your heart! At our weekend services 6 people including a husband and wife made public decisions to open the door of their lives to Jesus Christ. It was awesome. And don’t worry–tomorrow night at our Christmas Eve service I will be talking about shepherds, angels and definitely Christ Jesus, the Lord!