Saturday, December 24, 2016

An unusual Christmas

I am a person who likes traditions and routines. I find I do things "because I've always done them" and it feels strange not to do them. But this year is an unusual Christmas because not only have I been sick for the last few weeks, but Christmas, the day our family usually spends eating breakfast together and giving gifts to each other, falls on a Sunday. So, we had to change it up a bit.

This morning I was thinking about the first Christmas and how unusual that day was. I'm sure Mary and Joseph did not relish the thought of travel at a time when she was about to give birth. In fact, nothing about that day was usual. Despite the prediction foretold Scripture, the people still had a hard time accepting the unusual way God brought the Messiah into the world.

Scripture tells us:
"Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” James 4:13-15
Perhaps God has allowed our routine, or our tradition to be shaken up a bit, so we will stop and reflect on what is important. Our church's theme this Christmas is "Keep Christ at the Center of Christmas." Is He center? Or are my plans center? The scripture above tells us that we do not know what will happen tomorrow. Our acceptance to what He has allowed is the only way to a peace-filled, Christ-centered Christmas.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

In loving memory of Jim Seltzer

I'm not even sure when Jim and Carol started coming to our church. It seems like they've always been a part of our body - like a hand or a foot that you can't imagine what you would do without. Only now we do have to imagine it because Jim was taken from us last night. Jim was that part of the body - you know- the part that you take for granted. He and Carol sat in the very last row. They were always there, snuggled together. Kind of like an anchor that held us all in place. How did he start driving the van to pick people up on Sunday mornings? Or when did he start mowing the lawn? Was he asked to be an usher? It just happened one day I guess. Like the first day an infant discovers she has a hand and it works beautifully with the arm she has. He just fit and it worked beautifully. But today I ask myself: did I take that part of my body for granted? It was easy to do that because he gave and gave and never asked for anything in return. He asked for prayer for others. He asked how my mother was after her accident. But Jim didn't focus on himself. He didn't complain. He was too busy loving others.

Jim Seltzer was a Christian in every sense of the word. I am not only grateful for all that he did for our church body, but I am grateful for the example he was to me of a gentle and quiet spirit. I honor the faithful husband, loving father and friend he was. We grieve, but not without hope, because we know that someday we will be joined together again in heaven where we will rejoice together for all eternity.