Sunday Afternoon Ramblings

What an eventful weekend it has been! As many heard, Sheri K’s mother passed away last week, and the funeral was Saturday afternoon. I wanted to take a moment, before getting into a couple of thoughts about our Sunday activities, to thank those from the church who took the time to support Sheri and family at the visitation, funeral, and reception. I would also like to ask your continued prayers for Sheri, as well as Tom K, and both of their families as they continue to deal with the loss of their respective mothers.

On to today’s activities. What a wonderful Lord’s day it was! It started out this morning with an excellent time of fellowship, if I do say so myself. Food is always good, but far more edifying for me is the chance to mingle with the body of Christ. Thank you to Nicole and Jessie R for providing the refreshments!

The worship service this morning, I thought, was tremendous. Adoration, as usual, did a wonderful job leading. As we sang, I was amazed to realize that, once again, the choice of songs could not have been more perfect for the sermon.

This morning was the first message in our “Advent of Hope” series (even though it was the second Sunday of Advent), and my it has been my prayer that this series would truly bring hope to where we and our world are in real life, each and every day. Today, our focus was on hope for broken relationships, coming out of how Jesus dealt with a broken relationship in His own life in John 11:17-44. As I mentioned, the statistics about broken relationships and such that we saw today are astounding. It amazes me to think that, in this day and age, when there are unprecedented opportunities to connect with people and form relationships that literally span the globe, there are so very many broken relationships all around us. So I thought that today’s message, that Jesus will go to any length to heal relationships, was exceptionally relevant. And judging by the responses I heard as people were leaving this morning, a significant number of you did, too.

The reality is that God wants us to have wonderful relationships which fulfill us in ways that we could never be fulfilled on our own. When those relationships are broken, Jesus is the one and only way to have them ultimately repaired. But in order for Him to heal them, we have to go up and start working – hard – to open the door so He can. And we have to be willing and resolved to keep working, even when bad things start to come out. And generally, what this means, is that we have to be willing to say one or both of the English language’s most difficult things to say: “I’m sorry” and/or “I forgive.”

This advent season, may we all claim the hope that Jesus can and will restore the broken relationships in our lives if we’ll work at it with Him.

Looking forward, there are a few things coming down the road that I would mention here tonight. The first is that I have been working with a few others in the church to build a new website for the church. It is now nearing completion, so I would like to give you one last chance to say what kinds of content and/or functionality our church website should include.

Second, after fellowship this morning, a number of people offered some suggestions for how our time might be improved, and I think we’re going to be implementing a few of them. The board will be asked to decide the best way going forward, and I’m excited to see what will come of these great ideas!

And finally, as we go through this Advent season, a couple of upcoming events to be mindful of. First, the men’s Bible study will start Thursday, December 17, at 6:30 pm. We’re going to be examining men of the Bible to see what our lives should look like today. Warning: this won’t be for sissies. Second, we’re going to be doing some Christmas caroling on Monday, December 21. Come one, come all, as we go around the neighborhood to share the sounds of Christmas! And finally, as we have done for the last several years, we are going to be holding a Christmas Eve worship service on December 24. You won’t want to miss this wonderful time of word and song!

So that’s all for today. As the snow falls in Des Moines tonight, I pray that the Spirit would fall in each of our lives anew, covering over all the old and dead remnants of our former lives with the power and holiness of God. I look forward to seeing what impact each of us and our church will have in the weeks to come!


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