Bible Verse of the Day

Philippians 2:3-4
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”

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AYP December 2017

Grace, mercy and peace from Christ our Lord be with you all. Amen.

Why is it that we are always in a rush to be someplace else? If we are not rushing to be someplace other than where we are, we are pushing time to the fullest extent possible.

When we are younger we can not wait for the passage of time, even to the point where you want to be older than you actually are, as if something magical happens when you are older. And then when you are older, you don’t want to be there either, and again people start to lie about their age to be younger again.

We live in a very interesting time, in that we have more devices to help us save time, and to make things easier for us, and yet, we never seem to have enough of that one commodity - time.

I recently returned from my hunting vacation up in the cabin in Clinton County... I love it there because there time seems to slow down for me. I get to take my watch off, and time is told by when the sun comes up, when my stomach growls, and when I start to yawn and my eyelids get heavy. I am not both-ered by a phone (I loose cellular service an hour before I even get to the cabin). I am not chased by e-mail, there is no electricity at this cabin, so if I even had the ability to check my email, I would be limited to how long my battery would last. But alas there is no elec-tricity, no cellular service, and no running water. I have heat from a wood stove, I cook on propane stoves, and have propane lights. I have to go out to visit a little green house when nature calls, and the water only runs when you pump the handle.

When I am not out in the woods hunting, I am sitting by the fire listening to the snap and pop of the logs as they burn and throw a mesmerizing light across the cabin. I get to sit there and think about whatever it is that comes across my mind. Like the passage of time. And how we try to rush things.

That is what struck me the most as I was preparing to leave. It seems that even in September, people were already starting to talk about Christmas, let alone any of the other holidays that come before. It seems that each and every year they push the start of the Christmas season... no it is no longer the Christmas season, because you are not even allowed to say merry Christmas any longer (I was out at a store today in my clerics, and people still said have a happy holiday... I responded, it is ok to tell me to have a Merry Christmas... this collar gives it away that I celebrate Christmas. They just smiled at me as if I was a small child and did not know better...).

I was at my in-law’s for Thanksgiving and even, as I was driving out on Wednesday evening, the radio was playing Christmas music and talking about the sales that would be starting, not on Friday, but on Thursday... and even then it was not late like I remember in previous years, where it was bad enough that they would start at 9 pm. No - there were stores that were opening at 3 pm on Thursday afternoon to get a head start on your shopping experience.

That is what this is... the SHOPPING SEASON. Heaven forbid we have a season devoted to family and friends. No - we have to show how we care by going shopping and spending money on them... so we can give them a holiday gift; we can no longer sit together as family and friends on Thanksgiving and share a meal, then sit on the couch together and watch football via a turkey induced coma. No - we have to eat earlier and earlier, then rush out to the sales. Pretty soon Thanksgiving day will be just another shopping day where the stores open extra early to allow you to come and push and shove others so you can get frustrated as you fight to get that perfect gift for your loved one.

So now as we enter the season of Advent, I even find myself looking to the end of Advent... to the goal, instead of sitting back and enjoying the ride and allowing myself to be filled with the anticipation that only Advent can offer.

Imagine what it would be like if we were all able to step back, and just tell time by the sun rise and sunset, the growl of our stomach, and toss another log on the fire to warm the air around us, as we listen to the snaps and pops and watch mesmerized by the dancing flames over those logs. Imagine what it would be like if we were able to slow down, and truly think about the meaning of the seasons, and spend that time with those that we love. Be-cause when it comes down to it, the one thing that each and every one of us has the exact same amount of is time, and we all need to use it wisely. In my opinion, time is best spent with family and friends in service of others. Where you can laugh and play together while making the world a better place. As with all of the people I have seen as they approach the end of their time, everyone has wished that they had just a little more time, that and that they wished they spent more time with those they loved.

So let us all enjoy the time we have and the time we are in. Spend the time, and not the money on those that you love and together we can reclaim the shopping season to the Christmas Season.

Amen.

Peace, Pastor Paul

Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 December 2017 02:02