Thursday, December 17, 2020

The Candle of Love

1 Corinthians 13

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing…

This week we will light the fourth candle on the Advent wreath:  the candle of love.  People talk about love all the time.  It fills Bible verses, songs, movies, and almost anything else you can think of.  Sometimes it can seem almost too cliche to talk about.  Even amazing passages from the Bible can start to lose their power.  There are just too many examples of broken relationships, and families and friendships that have lost hope of any kind of reconciliation.  Love seems like a wonderful word, but what power does it really have?

There are moments in my house when the kids are refusing to brush their teeth, put their clothes on, or sit down in their car seats.  I can get pretty exasperated trying to get them to do anything, but they are perfectly happy right where they are.  Perhaps one day they will start to learn how to listen and prepare for the day better.  However, I may be able to learn from them too.  They can appreciate the love and joy right where they are at.  They don’t need too much at all… They can just enjoy the simple things.

Sometimes the greatest gifts that love can share are in the still small moments of life. We do not have to spend our lives chasing after something God has already shared.  The Bible teaches us that love surrounds us right here and right now.  My prayer for all of us is to embrace all the gifts we have.  May we receive the love God has for us with open hearts, and cherish each moment we are in!


Pastor Brian

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Peace on the Advent Journey

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

-John 16:33

The season of Advent is a journey.  Long ago, Mary and Joseph traveled to Bethlehem.  They were not able to take much with them when they set out, and they expected their journey to end with more taxes, more oppression, and more poverty.  However, they did bring several very important gifts with them:  Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love.  

Today we still prepare our hearts in this season of Advent.  We may have more wealth and power than Mary and Joseph ever did, but it is also important to ask if we really have what matters?  This week we are taking a look at the spiritual gift of peace.  Jesus never promised to make our lives easy.  However, Jesus did promise to love us in the midst of the tribulations.  Jesus promised to always be present, and if we open ourselves to this love, then I believe we can bring real peace to this world.

Today I hope you can all find a little peace in your hearts, and I hope you can find some way to share this.  Don’t get caught up trying to move mountains or saving the entire planet.  Just ask if there is any way to bring a little peace to your life.

I was taking some time with my family last week, and honestly it was less than peaceful.  Our two year old was refusing to put pants on, and the screaming was getting out of control.  :)  We were setting up our Advent wreath, and it looked a little strange since the candles had sat out in the garage all summer and melted into some pretty weird shapes. (Oops!) However, we wound up just cherishing a few moments of love around the candles.  The boys wound up laughing and playing together, and I saw just a bit of God’s peace that day.  

God is working in this world.  I hope we can all open our hearts and see it!