Friday, December 24, 2010

Weather and the Nature of God

It's Christmas Eve and it is cold and rainy outside.  Last Christmas Eve, we had a blizzard here in Krum.  Does God not want us to have Christmas Eve services?

I know that seems a silly question, but it is not one for those who think that God is in the business of making our lives easy and ensuring that houses of worship are full on special occasions.

Of course, we who live with sprinklers and sewers and water towers and all other conveniences of comfortable living occasionally forget that rain and any other moisture that falls from the skies, especially in a climate like ours in Texas, is very much a blessing.  

Rain means life.  Rain, slowly falling, deeply sinking rain, pumps up the drying, shriveling roots of our trees and shrubs.  It helps matter that has already died to decay further and turn to compost, thus enriching the next generation of plants.  It carries nutrients from the air into the ground.  Rain equals blessing.

I also know the temptation on a cold rainy night as this one promises to be is to just stay inside, hunker down, turn on the TV, brew a hot drink of some sort, and cocoon.  I simply ask that you consider the option of heading out anyway. Find that place of worship.  Join with a community of those who know that real riches come from intimacy with God, and that few of us can fully worship alone.  At our church, the chorale and musicians have been practicing for weeks to lead us in both a fun and powerfully meaningful time.  We'll consider together the state of our hearts and our readiness to receive the greatest gift of all.  

There's a part of me that wants to say, "Please come so the worship leaders won't be disappointed."  But I say to you, that is the wrong reason to attend worship.  The real reason: "O Come, Let Us Adore Him."  It is a good and right thing to give thanks to our Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth, on this special night.

Maybe the rain, instead of being a hindrance to worship attendance, can serve as a reminder that God does not do our bidding, and that makes God worthy of worship.  We have been given the privilege of approaching this Holy One by the Son whose birth we celebrate this evening.  Let us handle that privilege with humility and responsibility.

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