Greetings to the people for whom Jesus enter this world,
Exodus 34:6 (CEB) – Larger reading: Exodus 34:
“The Lord passed in front of him and proclaimed: ‘ The Lord! The Lord! a God who is compassionate and merciful, very patient, full of great loyalty and faithfulness’”
When Corrie Ten Boom of The Hiding Place fame was a little girl in Holland, her first realization of death came after a visit to the home of a neighbor who had died. It impressed her that some day her parents would also die. Corrie’s father comforted her with words of wisdom. “Corrie, when you and I go to Amsterdam, when do I give you your ticket?” “Why, just before we get on the train,” she replied. “Exactly,” her father said, “and our wise Father in heaven knows when we’re going to need things too. Don’t run out ahead of Him, Corrie. When the time comes that some of us will have to die, you will look into your heart and find the strength you need–just in time.”
Well, it has started … or it will shortly … that mad dash towards Christmas. Even in this day of the Pandemic there still will be the “mad dash”. If you are near an outlet mall you have already been notified that all the stores will be opening at earlier than normal following Thanksgiving. Many of the great “Black Friday” deals have been already made available because of the supply train problems. I’m not sure if the females in my family will venture forth at the ungodly hour, but they did the year before last. They had a great time as they socialized with all the other crazy people who had to catch the bargains. Their biggest discovery or find last year was the Starbucks can actually serve up a bad cup of holiday coffee. After a couple of sips they passed on the coffee to one of their fellow crazy midnight shoppers. If previous experiences will hold true this year there will be so many people went early to “catch” the great deals that the parking lot will be filled long before the mall opens and the traffic will be backed up for over 3 miles on the highway. In other areas, the stores opened at 4, 5 and 6am. People will be lined up – some even camped out overnight – as they have in years past in order to be first in line so that they could grab the “bargains” being offered. And, the mad dash will be on … maybe this is why it is called Black Friday … you come away with more black and blue bruises than you do with any real bargains.
I’m always a little leery at that little disclaimer at the bottom of all the “bargain” ads. It is only three words, but they can strike fear in the hearts of all serious bargain hunters. Just 3 little words, but oh the lasting effects that they can instill in the hearts of the most hardy bargain hunters. WHILE SUPPLIES LAST! I’m wondering just how many did the store REALLY have available – two? – three? If you ever went hunting for the “bargains,” but didn’t what to either get up so early nor fight the maddening crowds you were going to be out of luck. WHILE SUPPLIES LAST actually means that very few will walk away with the “cherished” product … especially you!
The “supply” of God’s grace and love is never ending – regardless of when someone decides that it is time for them to accept the offer. Oh, that there would be a mad dash to accept it! Wouldn’t it be wonderful if people would “camp out” at the church’s front door waiting for that magical moment when they are opened so they could rush in to get some of God’s abundant supply? Or, be willing to sit in their cars upwards to 3 miles waiting for a precious parking spot in the parking lot of the church?
Yes, the mad dash will start shortly, if it hasn’t already, but are we all missing the point?
“Our mammas did not hesitate to bargain. Questioning a price was standard procedure. ‘How much are these cucumbers?’ ‘Two for five.’ The mamma pushed one aside. ‘And how much is this one?’ ‘Three cents.’ ‘Okay. I’ll take the other one.’” ~ Sam Levenson
Dear Lord, help us not to miss your supply of grace and love while fighting for the world’s meaningless and limited supply of mundane, perishable commodities. Amen.
And the faith journey continues, Pastor Jim
Giving God the Glory
Sunday begins the season of Advent. The sermon series is: “God Breaks Forth into Our World”. The first sermon in that series is “A Promise Fulfilled” – Galatians 4:4-7. Begin now to pray yourself into this scripture and discover God’s truth.