Hey you guys! Hope everyone is doing well. It’s the week of Halloween and so much is happening! Here is what’s going on around here:
Tonight—Worship @ 6:30pm. Our message will focus on how we can overcome fear in our lives. There really is a way to not be ruled by it. Come and see how God has a plan to give you freedom from every nagging worry, anxiety, and fearful thing in your life.
TRUNK OR TREAT!!!! –This is so cool! I am so excited about it. We will be on South Lawn handing out candy to everyone passing by tomorrow (Wednesday) from 11am till 4pm. Come and help us spread the love, the chocolate Jesus love. Woo Hoo! Feel free to dress up. This is our way of being a vessel of God’s grace for our campus, but more about that later. Come and be blessed by blessing others!
Thursday—SPOOK DINNER!!!! 6:30pm @ Wesley. I have the menu; it will be good. We will be giving away prizes for best male & female costumes. We will also have karaoke afterwards. I even bought a new Kareoke CD that has recent music on it. No longer are you confined to singing 80’s songs. This is a great time to bring a friend!
Now For Sami’s Ramblings About Jesus:
Timing is everything. And as I get closer to my due date I seem to be even more obsessed with it. With my belly expanding, I feel like I have to be ready for anything. And for the most part I am. I have been preparing like a crazy woman. It’s also got me thinking, all this preparation stuff.
I can’t help but think of when Jesus was born and all the preparations that Mary went through. I’m sure His timing was a surprise. It makes me wonder if he came early; certainly it was unexpected. Who in their right minds would plan on being out of town when their baby was due, with no place to stay, finally winding up in a barn with all the animals? Those newborn babes just have minds of their own. They come when they want to, and everyone around them just has to be ready and deal with it.
We will soon be in the season of Advent (which means coming), the time of the Christian year that precedes Christmas. It is when we prepare our hearts once again to celebrate the coming of Christ as a baby. But one of the more overlooked themes of the season is preparing for the second advent of Christ, when Jesus returns. He will not return as a baby but in the fullness of His glory. His majesty will not be hidden in the frailty of human flesh, for we will see Him riding in on the clouds and clothed in the power of His majesty. This is the part of Advent I have been pondering. This is the part where my preparations for Jeremiah’s birth ring most true as reminder: Am I prepared to see the triumphant Christ return to earth in His glory? And what exactly does glory mean? And why in this season of Halloween am I thinking about something that is related to Christmas anyway?
Maybe it’s the “Hell-Fire & Brimstone” connotations related to Christ’s return that have me thinking about it during Halloween. But one of the things you learn about me really quickly is I’m not exactly a “Hell-Fire & Brimstone” kind of girl. I am so firmly convinced of the unrelenting, all-consuming, perfectly transforming, jealously pursuing, unquenchably demanding, incomprehensibly penetrating, powerfully equipping, exquisitely encouraging, gently leading, intimately connecting, tenderly correcting, wholly healing power of God’s love, revealed perfectly and indelibly through His incarnate Son Jesus Christ. So when I think of Jesus returning, I don’t think of gloom and doom, I think of something glorious, unquenchable, and undeniable. I think of Love fully revealed, as Jesus, shining in the brightness of God’s love, undiluted by the deception of darkness and radiating with Truth and Light. This is the glory of a glorious return! Holy? Oh Yes! Beyond what you or I can even imagine. Will we fall on our faces in worship? Oh Yeah! Will we see the truth of who we are in the Light of Who He Is? Of course. But our trembling for those of us who belong to Him will be filled with joy. We will be reunited to the One our hearts have been longing for all along. And none of the powers of darkness will be able to suppress, repress, disguise, or deny Him. Every knee will bow. Every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. It will be as if Corinthians 13:10 has become real: the partial will end because we will be looking at the Complete face to face. We will know Him fully, see Him fully, even as we now are fully seen and known.
I believe that when Christ comes in His glory, His glory will gather those wounded hearts to Himself who were so misled and abused by the enemy that they could not embrace Him before. I believe that He will remove the blinders from their eyes and they will see Him as He is, in the Truth of His love. Will all of them accept Him? No. Will there be those who reject Him? Yes. Will there be ones who choose eternal separation over eternal life with Him? Sure. Scripture tells us there will be. But I also believe that there are those who belong to Him who just don’t know it yet, who have been beaten up so badly they have confused the lie of who He is with Truth of who He is. Of course they don’t want to give their hearts to a lie; none of us do. Of course they don’t want to give their hearts to an institutional savior who bears no resemblance to the Real Thing. If we who are in the church have given our hearts to that, then we are just as deluded as those who have never worshiped Him in their lives. That false Christ is just as much an idol as money or success. The question that haunts me, that hunts me, that keeps me up at night is this: For those who don’t know Him, will they recognize Him when He comes?
And this is the question that Jesus asks us: Have you shown Me to those who don’t know Me in a way that they will recognize Me when I come? Have we shown them Love? Have we lived it in front of them? Have we invited them to taste and see that the Lord is good? Can we even testify to the Lord’s goodness for ourselves because we ourselves have tasted and seen? Are we willing to jump in whole-heartedly to share His heart with a broken and lost world? Not to see them as “those others” but to share in their humanity, to experience their vulnerability, to witness their deep pain, and to understand the depth of their doubt? Are we courageous enough to really listen to why they disbelieve? To hear the story that brought them to disbelief before we condemn them for not being where we are? Are we willing to walk a while beside them with undemanding generosity so that they know we genuinely care for them personally, not just as a number in our salvation count that does not see them in the fullness of who they are?
This is why Trunk or Treat means the world to me. It gets me out of my comfort zone, and into a place and space where God’s love already is, working to reveal the Truth of His Glory revealed through His son. It is the place where love meets need, where I am most likely to encounter someone who is completely different from me, who might think I am from another planet, but who also might be ready and willing to receive His Word of Love. It is where my own illusions can be shattered and I can experience the broken, funny, quirky, amazing, wonderfully and fearfully made humanity that Jesus died on a cross to bring Home. And it is where chocolate becomes the feast of love where strangers are invited to taste and know that the Lord is good. Who are you willing to invite to Goodness? Come and join me.
This is me trusting,
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