First week of Advent=Coming
We wait to celebrate the first coming of Christ into our world as a baby.
Pastor Mark's sermon was an unusual Christmas message from Habakkuk.
The prophet was complaining to God about the world he lived in, a description very apt for our days--violence, destruction, injustice, innocence overwhelmed by evil...
The Lord: "Be astounded! You won't believe what I'm going to do!"
Nor could the prophet believe the means--a mighty trampling force to overrun his people?!
Again the Lord urges Habakkuk to wait, believe, trust--He is at work!
The promise may take a while, but the vision will come true.
As unlikely as it may seem now, the land will be filled with people who know and honor the Lord, just as the water fills the sea!
So the prophet concludes that even in the bleakest of times and circumstances, he will remain steadfast.
And in the meantime, God gives him strength to climb mountains like a graceful deer!
Why did this message resonate so with me?
This has been a difficult year for our family: loss of jobs and opportunities; economic hardships; circumstances that threaten to tear us apart; and things may get worse before they get better.
We look around and see: terrorism in Mumbai; economic collapse; our children surrounded by negative influences.
But then this message of hope and these strong promises, so I say with the prophet: "I will still celebrate because the LORD God saves me.
Signs of celebration have merely begun: a poinsettia on the counter; some Christmas cards waiting to be addressed; a red tablecloth on the dining room table; a few wrapped gifts on the love seat and the wrapping paper under the spiral stairs (in that I am way ahead of other years!). No Christmas tree yet. Downstairs by the sewing machine a bag of various fabrics for a special project Kayla & I will be working on--a uniquely special gift for each member of the family. (Photos later, after Christmas!)
Meanwhile life goes on: school and work, robotics and home projects and repairs. The new water heater is working. The hanging garden is nearly finished (photos later). And somehow we find strength to keep going.