Asbury United Methodist Church
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November 28, 2017

I supposed it’s official that we’re in the pike now!

          We’re coming up on the first Sunday of Advent!  Thanksgiving is in the rearview; and, the race is on!

          People in my neighborhood are hanging what appears to be balls of Christmas lights, wadded up and placed in the tops of trees.   I’m not sure what that’s all about.  

I kind of chuckled at a Jewish family up the street from us, putting out Hanukkah themed lights!  They’re all up in this act and if we’re waitin’ on them, we’re backing up!

And, usually I report to you around this time each year of a man who lives across from the elementary school whose lighting displays are reminiscent of the Griswold family featured in the film, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.

But…we’ve all been waiting…driving by at night…grandkids wondering…neighborhood talking…all of us wondering…nothing but darkness. No lights!

Then the dreaded news was posted on Facebook last night. No, he did not pass away!

But, The Man of Lights decided that even with volunteers helping him, he’d reached a season of life where it was simply too much, the weight was too heavy; and, he was no longer going to replicate Clark Griswold.

Quohelet was right, “There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens (Ecclesiastes 3:1 NIV).” Even so, countless people around town are feeling mournful, a wee bit wistful and somewhat melancholy this morning.

Nobody was ready for this line to be drawn in the sand!

Nevertheless, I am convinced that God has a plan. We are promised that those who walk in darkness will see a great light; and, today nothing seems darker than driving by Light Man’s house at night.

An old mentor of mine used to say ad nauseam that, “God always has another ram in the bush. (He was referring to the ram that God supplied for the sacrifice in the place of Isaac back in the day.)

So…what if…what if this Christmas season we adopted as our plan of action, the mantra, God always has a plan?  We can start with Abraham if we want!

Back in the day, God told Abraham, “Leave your home!”  But, this was a crazy idea!

Nobody every left the tribe! It was suicide to leave the tribe!

Everybody knew that if you stayed among the tribe you would be safe. Marauders were constantly picking off those foolish enough to leave the tribe.

But, God had a plan!  

“The Lord had said to Abram, ‘Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you. I will make you into a great nation. All the families on earth will be blessed through you (Genesis 12:1,2 3b NLT).’”

And, God’s plan included saving the whole world. The lineage of Abraham extended all the way to Jesus!

God not only had Abraham in mind, but you and me too!  God thinks generationally. This is how God envisions the future.

Sometimes, I feel that too often we focus only on the upset of the day and seek the quick fix without considering that God is in it for the long haul.

Where is your darkness today?  Are you being called to leave the comfort of the tribe?

Whatever, never give up! God always has a plan!

Let every heart…

          Prepare him room…

And, heaven and nature sings!

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