For Sure and For Certain
Text; Revelations 5:1-10
The groundhog may or may not have seen his shadow last month. Who knows for sure if he hid back in that hole? Even if he did, the six more weeks will soon expire and winter will officially end, whether the groundhog wants it to or not. Yes, March is finally here. Did it come in like a lion or lamb? If like a fierce lion, rest easy for calm lamb-like weather lies ahead. But if like a little lamb, the roaring lion will be escorting us into those April showers. What is it with these animal weather “facts”? Someone observed weather occurrences and decided these were accurate indicators. However, I have observed the groundhog’s shadow-vision is sometimes inaccurate in February and the March lion sometimes forgets to make way for the March lamb. One thing for sure, whether the month is February or March, the weather and the world is always changing. There aren’t a lot of “for sure and for certains,” are there? Pessimistically speaking, sunshine can quickly turn to clouds. But optimistically, we know that clouds clear away and the sun shines through again. God did give us a rainbow which promises that rain will end, not a sunbow promising that sunshine will end – which is certainly good to know. Also good to know is that no matter what the weather may be; God is with us always. He is the Lion and the Lamb, on duty in every season of our lives; our fierce protector, yet also our gentle friend and comforter. One doesn’t leave to make way for the other. It is a package deal. Both are rolled into The One who will be standing in the end – not hidden for sure and for certain.
Give Me Just A Little More Time Text; Philippians 1:6
This is the day many have been eagerly awaiting since the fall. Daylight Savings Time is back! We often say we get an extra hour of daylight, but really we just relocate an hour of daylight don’t we? Early in the morning it just isn’t as productive an hour of daylight as it could be for most of us are still sleeping. Speaking of which, are you sleepy? Wake up, the sun is shining! Today is the day the Lord made no matter what time we say it is. God, who created time, holds all time in His hands. How many times have we wanted to go back in time to have just a little more time at a certain place with a certain person on a certain day? Sadly, we can’t go back and recreate a time once it has passed. However, God is a God of second chances. Even though we can’t redo some things, we can restart. God grants us enough time to get things done that He wants us to accomplish. He will make the time to complete the work He has started in each of us. Ephesians 2:10 tells us that He prepared things in advance for us to do. If He took the time to plan things for us in advance I am confident He can relocate all kinds of things to make sure we get them done. Just as we relocate an hour of daylight though our timekeeping methods to a place we can use it more productively; God also has a way of relocating time. He moves opportune moments that He doesn’t want us to miss out on because we may not be ready for them yet. God wants to make sure we are wide awake. He gives us a little more time and a little more even if we need it to be prepared for all He has waiting for us. Wake up, the Son is shining!
You Messed Up! Text; Proverbs 15:1
So, did you hear the one about the grocery checker who charged someone regular price for a sale item? It seems the irate customer came back and demanded his twenty-nine cents back now – not later. No, not after the person who the checker was now checking was finished paying, but now! Despite the checker’s heartfelt apology and explanation that the price of the salsa had not been changed in the system and her assurance that the change would be refunded gladly as soon as the drawer opened, the unhappy shopper still yelled, “YOU MESSED UP! I want my twenty-nine cents back.” Yes, the checker was me and yes, the customer must have had a very bad day. It wasn’t all about me or even the salsa, which is a life lesson worth learning for all of us. People’s anger and frustration with their lives are often taken out on whoever they come in contact with. It isn’t really about you or your interaction with them usually. How we react, however, is about us and does affect us and the rest of our day. If we mess up and let them have it, which would feel good, it isn’t good. We are called to be lights shining into the darkness, wherever the darkness may be. We are called to be salt, even when dealing with salty salsa servers who are sassy, to say the least. It is important that we love with the love of Christ at all times in all situations. A soft answer turneth away wrath is true and good. These are not just some words written on a page, but words we are supposed to live by. It would be nice to tell you the guy came back and apologized, but he didn’t. The only victory in this story is that I didn’t argue with him and mess up my day. Sometimes it is best to simply say, “Yes, I did mess up, I am sorry.”
The End Text; Revelation 3:8
At the end of every book, we don’t always find the words “The End.” However, we know the end has come when there are no more words to read. Some books don’t end as we had hoped and we find ourselves turning that last page in search of more words. On the other hand, some books seem to never end. We peek over a couple of pages and ask, “How many more pages of this thing are there anyway?” There is chosen reading, then there is required reading. I remember books I read as a child that were required. Pre-Internet days found students searching for books to get assignments done, not pointing, clicking, copying and pasting. Having a set of encyclopedias at home was a luxury that could be likened to having an I Pad today. The complete sets were expensive. Those of us who didn’t have a set spent hours at the library searching the volumes to find needed information. Now you can find sets very cheap, even given away. But the value may increase soon for Encyclopedia Britannica has announced that the current edition will be the last printed. From now on the encyclopedia will be updated exclusively online. Of all these books that have been printed since 1768 we can now say, “The End.” The moral to this story could be, “All good things must end.” But on the positive side, we could say, “Embrace change, new and improved is better.” So I chose for the end of this story to be, “Endings are beginnings of greater things.” How do you choose to look at your endings?