Pastor’s Friday Comments (09.27.19)

Let’s all join in our annual collective lament: It’s ninety degrees outside, it’s not even Halloween, and you’re already starting to see Christmas decorations in the stores. I know, they’re rushing the season; you’re starting to feel the stress of all you’ll have to do to get ready for the holidays, and yes, time flies.

Gather up all our joint angst and you can see why it is a good thing that Advent roughly overlaps the Christmas season. If ever there is a time to slow down, contemplate what it means to be a follower of Christ, and to take stock of how prepared we are to accept his coming for us, that’s it. As the birth of Christ has been co-opted by commercial interests, we need to have a sense of perspective and to reflect on what is really important.

Right now many of our congregants are wrestling with one or more biblical texts that are appropriate for the Advent Season. They have been given the privilege or assigned the task (both actually) of writing a devotional for this year’s Advent devotional booklet. Each time we have done this in the past, I have received immeasurable blessing and gained new insights through their contributions, and I know that will be true this year as well.

There is also something reassuring to me in recognizing that many of you are earnestly seeking to find the contemporary meaning in an ancient text. You are coming to grips with the fact that the Bible was not only a word for people in the past, but that it contains a word for us as well, and that you have a chance to share that word with your fellow church members. I’m sure you will find, as I always do when preparing a message, that the text will first challenge, convict, and inspire you and, out of that experience you will have something to share with others. (This also serves as a reminder that your contribution is due very soon.)

As Christians, and particularly as Baptists, we are “people of the Book.” It is not only through the Bible, but definitely through the Bible, that the Holy Spirit seeks to direct our lives. This Advent we have a fresh opportunity for recommitment of all we are and all we have as offerings to God. Thanks to those who are preparing devotionals that will help us in that, and thanks to all of you in advance for taking the time not only to read them, but to apply their truths to your life.