11 DEC 2016Image Not Found.
“The Lord’s ransomed ones will return and enter Zion with singing, with everlasting joy upon their heads. Happiness and joy will overwhelm them; grief and groaning will flee away.” Isaiah 35:10 CEB
YOU ARE A WINNER!
I was ecstatic when I received the certified letter informing me that I had just won a sweepstakes. My prize was a collection of precious stones. I would soon receive my insured shipment. There was a diamond, an emerald, a ruby, a sapphire and a star of India. I had no idea what a star of India was but I knew that the other stones were valuable and I could only guess what the value of this exotic stone would be. Perhaps they would be worth enough money to pay for Kathryn’s and my school. Maybe they would be worth enough to buy a new vehicle for Kathryn. Whatever the amount, I knew that it would be significant and I was filled with excitement and joy awaiting my shipment.
The shipment finally came. I saw the box and was even more excited because it was larger than I had imagined. I opened the box with anticipation and inside I found my precious stones just as the letter had informed me. They were a little smaller than I had imagined when I removed them from their pouches. In fact, they were a lot smaller than I had imagined. But, still they had to have some value so off to the jewelry store I went.
When I showed my precious stones to the jeweler, he smiled. No, it was more of a smirk than a smile. Sure enough, the precious stones were real but the quality was such that they held little value. The jeweler did not even know what the star of India was but said many colored stones are given that name to impress people. But the stone had no value. How quickly I went from riches to rags! Kathryn would have to drive the moped a little longer!
I kept the stones for many years. Perhaps they are still in my safe deposit box. They have served as a reminder to me on how fleeting the world’s wealth can be. Is the secret to happiness and joy really tied to what we can hold in our hands? Can you win something that will bring to you everlasting joy? I hope that during this season of Advent that each of us will look more closely at the source of our joy and happiness. I hope that each of us will see that our joy and happiness does not come from what we hold in our hands but whose hands hold us.
Our annual Christmas Eve Candlelight and Communion service will be held in our sanctuary on Saturday, December 24th at 6:00 pm. This is a great service to invite your family and friends to join us. It was a special service last year and I look forward to worshipping with each of you this year.
Christmas is on Sunday this year. Our worship service will be filled with singing the great Christmas hymns of our faith. The service will be less formal and everyone is invited to come dressed as you will for the rest of the day. I will be sharing one of my favorite Christmas stories that helps remind me of the reason for the season. I hope that it will be a blessing to you as well.