Pastor's Pen
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October 7, 2014, 8:53 AM

October is Here

October is Here

 

   October is here, which means the Christmas decorations will be out in the stores real soon! I guess, in a way, I fall in line with the stores. Each year, around the first of October, I begin looking at Christmas and what I feel God is calling me to say, and then I move back through Advent and November in my preparations. Some of the Old Testament passages that help me each year are usually found in Isaiah (he’s a great prophet on preparation). Take a minute and read Isaiah 11:1-10, especially that part about “The wolf shall live with the lamb … and a child shall lead them” part.

   Woody Allen once said, “It may be that one day the lion shall lie down with the lamb – but the lamb won’t get much sleep.” The Bible is full of paradox, mystery (which I wrote about last week), and surprises.  Advent (the four weeks before Christmas) is too.  The expectant peace Isaiah promises is difficult to imagine – yet much prayed and hoped for!  I suspect we are all more like the lamb than otherwise.

    It is difficult to envision a world where a little child leads wolves who no longer hunt, leopards who give up their predatory instincts, and lions who lie down with vulnerable and defenseless little lambs and become vegetarians. And yet, we occasionally see rays of such paradoxical hope and peace breaking through our darkened world. I know the Thanksgiving and Advent seasons aren’t quite here yet … but we can still pray for that hoped for peace coming into our world once again.

   In your preparation for these seasons, I invite you to join with others in confidence that we know that there is a way, however dark the nights might be, to make God’s rule effective in every corner of this world. When Christians speak of God’s rule, we speak not of God’s authority, but of God’s vision and the healing presence that brings us and our neighbors into one accord with God’s dream for us. So, look up, because in that looking is the encompassing wisdom and the reigning of God.

Dr. Rick Baggett is pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Ardmore (the church with the bells) and can be reached at: rbaggettfpc@cableone.net


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