Preparing Him Room

We set up the tree! But it wasn’t easy…

We have a decent sized living room.  It’s big enough for a couch and two chairs, and a fireplace, and a picture window…

But not big enough to add a Christmas Tree.

Last year, we solved the problem by taking one of the chairs out of the room, and putting the tree up in the corner.

That worked fine, but it eliminated seating.  So this year we were determined to find room for everything. 

First, we moved the couch from the east wall to the north wall.  We moved a chair over where the couch had been and that left a little space in the southeast corner. But not enough for the tree.

Then, we moved the couch back and swapped the two chairs.  Nope.

We put the two chairs together along one wall.  Nope.

We shoved one chair way into a corner and set the tree up in the entryway.  Terrible!

We tried everything we could think of, and nothing seemed to work.

In the end, you know what we did?

We put everything back the way we had started and set the tree in front of the window.

It looks perfect.

The moral of this story?

“Preparing him room” doesn’t necessarily mean you have to rearrange your whole life.

(or your whole living room…)

You just have to shine the light where others can see it.

Have a great week,

Mitch.

(top image via http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/15)

What Lies Beneath?

Got my shovel. Got a wheelbarrow. Got one of those hard hats with a light on it.

I’m going on an excavation!

I’m marching into the sanctuary, right down near the front, and I’m digging in.

Here’s why:

I just returned from the Holy Land. It was a great trip. I saw the sights and walked where Jesus walked…

And went in a bunch of churches.

The place where the angel visited Mary? They built a church on top of it.

The place where Jesus ascended to heaven? They built a church on top of it.

The places where he was born, crucified, rose again? Church, Church, Church.

I’ve visited more churches in the past 2 weeks than most Christians visit in a lifetime!

I know why the churches were built. Ancient Christians wanted to preserve these various holy sites. They wanted to glorify God. In many cases, the current churches were built on top of much older churches. It ‘s like a Christian layer cake!

Now I’m back home and I’m wondering: What lies beneath my church?

What gives a church its purpose, its mission, its reason for being?

There’s got to be more to it than relics and ruins. After all, Jesus didn’t really cover that much territory. Chances are (unless you’re Mormon) Jesus never performed a miracle in your hometown, or mine.

No, I think a church is meant to be more than that. More than just a museum for old holy places.

What lies beneath my church is ground. The same ground that Jesus walked on, halfway around the world.

Holy Ground.

What makes it holy is the ever present grace of God.

There is grace in a park. In a courthouse. In a McDonalds.

There is Holy Ground wherever God is acknowledged, wherever Christ’s love is spread.

I’ll never forget my trip to Israel, but I didn’t have to travel that far to be in contact with something so special.

And if you haven’t found it yet…

Keep digging.

Have a great Thanksgiving,

Mitch

Election Night Drinking Game

Now, you wouldn’t think a good Christian devotion like this would offer a drinking game.

Think again, my friends!

It’s been a long, painful election season.  No matter who gets elected, just about everyone has been bruised by our political process this time around.

So grab a glass of your favorite sparkling fruit juice, root beer, or ice cold tap water, and play along!

HERE ARE THE RULES:

1.  Whenever your home state is mentioned on TV, take a drink.

2.  Whenever a swing state is decided, take a drink.

3.  Whenever the phrase “electoral college” is mentioned, take a drink.

4. Whenever a local, state, or national concession speech is made, take a drink.

5.  After every trip to the bathroom (you’ll be drinking a lot), take a drink.

6. Before you go to bed, pray this prayer:

God of all people, your Son Jesus told us that those who are thirsty for righteousness are blessed.  May all our newly elected officials thirst for righteousness.  May all those who were defeated tonight thirst for righteousness.  May all who voted, and all who didn’t, thirst for righteousness.  We pray this for your sake, and for the sake of our world.  Through Jesus, who offers us Living Water, AMEN.

Have a great next four years,

Mitch