I’m generally the first guy in my neighborhood to get his Christmas lights up in his yard. I know it’s not a competition, but I want to be ready just in case it turns into one…just kidding (Not really). This year, though, three Johnny-come-latelies beat me to the punch–it’s not even Thanksgiving and their lights are already up. So, in response to these upstarts, last night I was up in my tree stringing my lights, claiming fourth place…in the competition that doesn’t exist.
My favorite part of the process (besides winning) is when I finish stinging the last light and I walk across the street with my back to my yard. I wait until I’m in the middle of my neighbor’s yard, turn around with eyes closed, and then open them to let the scene of my illuminated yard present itself in all its grandeur (okay, maybe “grandeur” is an exaggeration).
What I love most is the way the lights trace the outline of the limbs, stretching out from the trunk of the big tree in the middle of my yard. The hundreds of lights wrapped around the limbs look like an army of light deploying into the darkness in all directions. It always impresses me.
I look at you like that. As your pastor, I see our fellowship like an army of light going out, shining with the love of Jesus in the spiritual darkness of our oikos’. You do it so faithfully, with increasing effectiveness every year. You give your time, your money, and you live your very lives for the sake of Christ. When I stand back and look at you, I see you going out into the world for the sake of God’s glory. Father God sees it, too, and he’s pleased by it. Every small act of obedience, each faithful response to his leading, he sees it all. He loves to love you, to be loved by you, and to love others with you.
I’m thankful for you and wanted you to know it.
P.S. Come join Trucker Bob and me this Sunday at 3:00 p.m. as we decorate the Community Center for Christmas. Then join us for a cookout and s’mores afterwards.