Welcome to the longest running regular feature of Worshiping…In Spirit and Truth. This will be post #2741. We passed the fifth anniversary back in May. This little blog started way back in May of 2006. Even I can’t believe how long this run has lasted. Over the last few weeks, I have had more things to write about, so that has been a nice addition. On a Sunday back in May 2006, this blog and this long running feature was started. I blogged about our Homecoming service at Preston.
Why all the reminiscing? Because sometimes writing is hard — it requires you to think. Earlier this evening I was struggling with what to write, but over the last few hours – as sunlight fades into darkness, God has given me something.
Hot, Hot, Hot
This has been an amazingly warm (let’s just call it hazy, hot, and humid.) Thursday through Saturday we were under either a heat advisory, or an extreme heat warning. Today was the first break from that crazy hot weather. It was even punctuated this afternoon by a nice long, windy, rain-like-crazy thunderstorm. The wind was driving the rain so hard, it came under the door in the kitchen. Also, because the rain was coming down so fast, we had a little flood outside the basement door. It turned out there was debris on the drain grate. Once that was taken care of, we were good. The excess water went to the sump pump and we don’t have any water damage in the basement – Cool!
Saturday, Pam walked and I ran in a local 5K – it was free so it was like getting in a free training run. Both of us set personal records, which was incredible considering the heat and the humidity. Tomorrow we get back to our regular running/walking routine. Because of the run, I had tapered back my running. Tomorrow it is back to an hour run (somewhere between 5.5 and 6 miles.) I’ll be running over the hills of Staunton, so that may slow me down a bit.
We had a good worship service this morning. There was an amazing team on the platform. Four singers, myself, flute, drums, and keyboard. That is quite a team and they did a great job in leading worship. We did a new song (to us) – Tim Hughes’ “Beautiful One” and a very old song, “Be Thou My Vision” (an 8th Century hymn.)
Several months ago, we started a new Sunday School class at Parkway. Both Pastor Barry and I enjoy not having to teach. We have two outstanding lay teachers teaching the series “Faith Lessons:That The World May Know.” It is an excellent series. We are currently on the third volume “Life and Ministry of the Messiah.” The first lesson in this series is on Herod’s Palace. It was called “The Herodian” and it was a very large, magnificent palace in the vicinity of Bethlehem. From the biblical accounts, we often think that Herod’s palace was in the city of Jerusalem, but more than one of them resided outside of Jerusalem. Herod was a magnificent builder. The Herodian actually cast a shadow on the little town of Bethlehem. It really gave the Christmas story a whole new perspective. Why did Joseph and Mary escape to Egypt. It happened that Herod was leery of Egypt because of the reign of Cleopatra. Herod would not chase them there. Also after viewing the DVD, I understood how difficult it would have been to escape Bethlehem without someone at the Herodian noticing. Which means both Joseph and Mary and the wise men made some amazing under-cover-of-night escapes.
Why do I bring this up? This morning it was mention that Jesus was born in the shadow of all this power and opulence. So many times we play the victim – I can’t because (you fill in the blank) I don’t have the talent, I don’t have the money, Satan is attacking me, etc. Here was Jesus in the little town of Bethlehem and Herod in the magnificent palace. What if Jesus or Mary and Joseph would have said, “It’s impossible!” God can use us – no matter what. We listed many people this morning that (in our eyes ) were imperfect – Jacob, Rahab, Tamar, Ruth, David, Bathsheba. Yet, each one of these is listed in Matthew’s geneology. Sometimes, we feel that we can’t make a difference and yet, God uses each one of us despite our imperfections (and I have way too many!) God has always used His people to give him glory – to give him honor. What a great thought!
Seize the Day!