Yesterday was a surprisingly good day in both of my churches. The surprise was because it was -3 degrees with a wind chill of about -20 when church began. Also, we had some freezing rain on Saturday and there was a light coat of ice on sidewalks, driveways and parking lots. We spread a lot of ice melt and made it possible to use sidewalks and parking lots. As for my musings …
-The Children of both churches shared the Christmas message in worship yesterday. The kids did great at both churches. We had 9 or 10 kids who shared at my 9:00 church and 20+ were involved at my 10:30 church. I love watching kids get up front and share. Some did it confidently, some were shy and some were scared. But all of them came through. We also had some ad-libbing and some who wandered around a bit.
-It is always fun to watch the parents and grandparents of the kids. You can see the joy and pride in their eyes. You can also see them mouthing the words that their kids and grandkids are saying or singing up front. In most cases the parents are more nervous than the kids.
-Many people did not make it out in the cold and slippery conditions. Even with the difficult weather we had reasonable attendance. There were many churches in the area that cancelled services yesterday.
-It is always difficult to prepare for my part on Sundays like yesterday. When I don’t know how much time I will have it is tough. I am also aware that the visitors who come on Sundays when the focus is on the kids did not come to hear me. They will give me a little time, and if I can grab their attention they will even listen. But I would much rather have them consider coming back for another Sunday than to try and dump a big message on them when they are here for the kids.
-This morning I am heading to a memorial service for the adult daughter of one of my older couples. As the father said to me while visiting with him this past week, “A parent isn’t supposed to bury a child”. Praying that God’s comfort will be powerfully evident for them today, and in the days to come.
-Spending time in prayer and preparation for our Christmas services this coming weekend. Praying that there will be several who will choose to embrace the Peace of Christmas and accept Jesus as their Savior. What a great way to celebrate Christmas.
-Excited to spend some time with our oldest grandson this next week. He has completed his first semester of college. Our winter temperatures may be quite a shock to his system after 3 years in Kenya and 1 semester in California. Flip flops wouldn’t cut it buddy.
-Looking like this will be a Christmas of grabbing brief moments with our stateside kids and grandkids. Schedules are just not cooperating this year.
-Spending a lot time processing this truth in recent days. God loves to fill empty spaces. I have been creating a list of moments in scripture where God filled empty vessels. It is inspiring. I suspect it will develop into a sermon series that will surface around here in 2017.
Here’s hoping that you see Jesus as you head toward Christmas.