O give thanks to the Lord, call on his name,
make known his deeds among the peoples.
9 Sing to him, sing praises to him,
tell of all his wonderful works.
10 Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice. (1 Chronicles 16)
Sunday evening North Carolina got a long overdue and much needed soaking via a cold, soggy weather system that rolled into Wake Forest around 4:00 in the afternoon. Unfortunately, day three of Walk Through Bethlehem had to be cancelled. However, this weekend 2,300 visitors heard both the good news about Christ’s birth and a clear invitation to follow Jesus today (click here for story and pictures).
This morning, after a good night of rain, I am reminded that accepting the reign of God is the only way we will ever live in the Kingdom. Bob Beichner said as much in his recent excellent message at WFPC. We can’t say we’re motivated to live in the Kingdom unless we’re also willing to accept The King
TWO: The story may have been rained out in the evening, but – being Sunday – our campus was alive with the story all morning, and resounding with praise. Both worship services were held in the sanctuary this week, and it was fun to experience contemporary worship in the more traditional setting.
To me, the change served as a powerful illustration of how God is always in the business of messing with our status quo, pushing our boundaries, and disturbing our expectations. I love both services of worship, because what makes worship worship is authenticity, not style; but I have to admit it was refreshing to bring in the younger, noisier, foot-tapping crowd. I believe it did the space good.
My third item today is fun and whimsical. A few days ago I wrote that it’s okay to have the Rockettes dance at your nativity (worth another read). Well I managed to arrange a photo-shoot to support the idea and it’s too good not to share.
I believe it’s important to allow whimsy, laughter, and fun a place at the manger scene. In my understanding of faith, and life, and especially the way Jesus interacts with us as real people in the reality of day to day, the Jesus I know would have welcomed the presence of anyone, bringing any gift they have.
And that’s the take away for today. We bring the Christ child our very best, our creativity, our joy, our sense of humor – our very selves.
I pray that your journey through Advent is always that interesting, and that engaging – DEREK
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Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there's always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor's degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men's Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.