I dunno about looking like Christmas, but it’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas. Halfway through December, it’s finally starting to get a little cold outside. So I appreciate that.
But you can definitely be in prayer for a couple of our FCCers. Orpha Erickson got smacked by the door on her way out of the service on Sunday, and though she fell to the sidewalk, the only injury she sustained was a nasty cut above her eye and some bent glasses. But God was watching out for her, because within seconds, two nurses and a doctor (who trains doctors, no less) were on the scene and helping her out. In fact, the whole church family was helping by running and getting the first aid kit, helping her to her feet, etc. I mentioned a few days later that she looked like a prizefighter, and she replied, “Well, I’m not winning any beauty contests...”
(You and me both, sister...)
And you can also be in prayer for Randy Laninga, our terribly healthy and athletic Elder who nonetheless had a minor TIA on Wednesday morning. He’s doing well, and the doctors said that it didn’t look like it caused any damage, but let’s be in prayer that it doesn’t happen again.
Oh, and Graham League locked himself out of his car in Lacon, but hopefully, he’s found a way back in by the time that you’re reading this...
In our service this week, the Andrews family (well, Daddy and little Olivia, since Mommy was home sick) lit the third Advent Candle, focusing on joy. Again, that joy isn’t just a worldly kind of happiness -- a shallow, surface-y, situational kind of smiley thing. It’s a deep appreciation that we’re right with God and that He’s in charge of things.
In our message this week, we continued our Advent series looking at Christ as the King of kings, and how He compares with the various kings that Israel had been impressed with in the past.
Saul had looked like a king, but his heart was wrong. David looked like a king and his heart was right with God (mostly), but he had no wisdom about how to live in ways that really honored God. But his son, Solomon looked like a king, and his heart was right, and he was the wisest man who had ever lived -- or ever would live. Surely, if there’s a model for a Messiah, it would have to be Solomon.
He was a good man, he made decisions based on God-given wisdom, he loved the Lord (and built the Temple), he wrote portions of multiple books of the Bible, and he grew the kingdom of Israel and made everyone filthy rich. He was the greatest kingly package that Israel ever had.
But even Solomon had baggage -- even Solomon had a sin nature. Blame growing up in a decidedly dysfunctional family if you’d like, but even with all of his strengths and accomplishments, Solomon felt empty inside, and tried desperately to fill that emptiness with wine, women, philosophy, gold -- anything that would make him feel like he was loved, like he really, truly mattered. As a result, even the wisest man who ever lived capitulated to the whims of his many wives, and he built temples for their foreign gods in the middle of Israel.
As he grew older, Solomon realized his folly. He came to realize that absolutely nothing that we can do in this life matters at all -- not in and of itself -- no matter how huge it may seem in the world’s eyes, since all of it is fleeting. But the corollary to that is that if we do what we do because we truly want to fear God and follow His commandments, then everything that we can do in this life matters, no matter how tiny it may seem in the world’s eyes.
So it’s not looks, and not just heart, and not even just wisdom that we need in a King of kings -- it’s a commitment to living out that heart and that wisdom in life, founded on and never deviating from the Word of God.
But who could possibly be that perfect...?