Posts Tagged ‘pain’

The Joy of Pain


Luke 2:8-14 Now there were shepherds nearby living out in the field, keeping guard over their flock at night. 9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were absolutely terrified. 10But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid! Listen carefully, for I proclaim to you good news that brings great joy to all the people: 11Today your Savior is born in the city of David. He is Christ the Lord. 12This will be a sign for you: You will find a baby wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a manger.” 13Suddenly a vast, heavenly army appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among people with whom he is pleased!”

What Doesn’t Kill You…


1st Corinthians 15:55-58 “Death is swallowed up in victory.  O death, where is your victory?  O death, where is your sting?”  56For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. 57But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.  58So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.

Cheese & Whine


Psalm 96 1Sing a new song to the Lord!  Let the whole earth sing to the Lord! 2Sing to the Lord; praise his name.  Each day proclaim the good news that he saves. 3Publish his glorious deeds among the nations.  Tell everyone about the amazing things he does. 4Great is the Lord! He is most worthy of praise!  He is to be feared above all gods. 5The gods of other nations are mere idols, but the Lord made the heavens! 6Honor and majesty surround him; strength and beauty fill his sanctuary.

7O nations of the world, recognize the Lord; recognize that the Lord is glorious and strong. 8Give to the Lord the glory he deserves!  Bring your offering and come into his courts. 9Worship the Lord in all his holy splendor.  Let all the earth tremble before him. 10Tell all the nations, “The Lord reigns!”  The world stands firm and cannot be shaken.  He will judge all peoples fairly.

11Let the heavens be glad, and the earth rejoice!  Let the sea and everything in it shout his praise! 12Let the fields and their crops burst out with joy!  Let the trees of the forest rustle with praise 13before the Lord, for he is coming!  He is coming to judge the earth.  He will judge the world with justice, and the nations with his truth.



We live in a fast paced culture.  Right?  Nobody likes to wait for anything.  We want everything now.  We hate red lights and long lines and people who show up late.  I’ve seen people lose it because they had to wait 5 minutes to get their fast food.  Just the other day I was at a stoplight, and across the intersection was a guy whose car had stopped running.  I could hear his starter kick in over and over as he tried to get his engine started again.  And when the light turned green, the guy behind him laid on the horn–several times. We love to be able to fast forward through the commercials.  We live faced paced lives.

But I’ve noticed that a lot of people who get involved with churches or pray some little prayer that’s supposed to magically change them into Christians are more than happy to wait.  Oh, they still want the sermons to be over fast so they can get back to more fast paced life.  But when it comes to making the world a better place, they don’t mind at all just to wait…to wait for Jesus to come back to fix things, to wait till they die to change their lives, to wait for somebody else to do something so they won’t have to.

So is that right?  Is that the way it ought to be?  Does God just want people to go to a church, sing a few songs, pray a few prayers and then sit around and wait?  The Bible seems pretty clear about how people who claim to follow him ought to be impacting and affecting the world around them.  Jesus talked all the time about helping the poor and the widows and orphans and prisoners and foreigners.  He was very clear that we’re supposed to stand up for justice and teach people to obey his commandments.  So then why do so many people who call themselves Christians seem to be waiting?

By the way, what are you waiting for?

PS. I mention a visual aid in part of this talk that might be a little difficult to see in the audio recording.  So for anybody curious about that.  I tied off a big roll of string and began to unwind it across the room.  A little way out, I used a marker to mark a tiny spot on the string.  Then I kept unwinding it all around the room.  I’d go all the way to one wall, wrap the string around something and go back the other way.  Eventually the string was unwound all over the place.  I thought it was fun.