From Pastor Lamb – December 2017
I went to the funeral home the other day to pay my respects and offer my condolences to a long-time family friend whose daughter had died. I went during the visitation, that time before the funeral, but I didn’t stay for the funeral because I didn’t know them that well. At least I didn’t know them that well anymore. Years ago we had been much more connected, regularly sharing talk and tasks in our daily lives. But the years and distance diminished the time we spent together and the activities we did together. We didn’t share life anymore; we just remembered when we did share it. Our connection remained but it had loosened a lot. You know what I mean, right?
As I was driving home from the funeral home I got to thinking about people in our congregation, in what we call our church family. How well do we know each other? How many of your fellow followers of Christ would you say you know well? How many do you spend time with either talking or sharing some ministry or other activity? Have you made any effort to get to know anyone better or to make and grow a connection with someone new?
Of course, thinking of connections with my church family led me to think about my connection to God, which made me think of the upcoming seasons of Advent and Christmas.
The four-week season of Advent begins Sunday, December 3. This is the season when we, the Church, think about the coming of Christ into our midst – both for the first time as a baby to grow, live, and die among us, and the second time as a restorer to restore the earth and all creatures to its right relationship with God. This is the season when we anticipate, celebrate and give thanks to God for visiting us in the form of the Son, Jesus Christ. This is the season we celebrate God’s loving desire to connect with as more deeply, so deeply that God has moved heaven and hell to be in all of our lives and at all of our deaths. This is when we get real about the fact that Jesus was God’s way of saying to you and me, “Please, please get to know me. No one – and I mean the broken or whole, bad or god, poor or wealthy, sad or joyful, grieving or comforted, young or old, disrespected or respected, unskilled or skilled, lazy or ambitious – no one will be turned away by me. I want you to see who I am for you and for everybody. Please get to know me.” (Jesus called this process of getting to know, and connecting with, God discipleship.)
How well do you know God? Do you feel well-connected to God? Are you satisfied with how well you know God and how connected you feel? Is it working for you, for your family, and for the world?
During Advent I invite you to give this some thought. Take your time; it’s important. Then choose what, if anything you will do differently in the New Year to get to know God better.
God gave us Jesus. Maybe we can give God some thought.
A blessed Advent and Christmas to you all from Alison and me.
+ Pastor Lamb