Thursday, September 27, 2012

To make you Smile - Pastor Story

Pastor O ‘Riley woke up Sunday morning and realizing it was an exceptionally beautiful, sunny day, decided he just had to play golf.

After all, there was already a nip of fall in the air and how many more gorgeous days like this would there be before the cold weather came?

So... he told the Associate Pastor that he wasn’t feeling well, and persuaded him to deliver the sermon that day.

As soon as the Associate Pastor left the room, Pastor O’Riley headed out of town to a golf course about forty miles away.

This way he knew he wouldn't run into anyone he knew from his church.

Setting up on the first tee, he was alone. After all, it was Sunday morning and everyone else was in church!

At about this time, Saint Peter leaned over to the Lord while looking down from the heavens and exclaimed, "You're not going to let him get away with this, are you?" The Lord sighed, and said, "No, of course not."

Just then Pastor O’Riley hit the ball and it shot straight towards the hole, dropping just short of it, when it began to roll and fell right into the hole.


St. Peter was astonished. He looked at the Lord and asked, "Why did you let him do that?"

The Lord smiled and replied, "Who's he going to tell?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Aroma of "Living Things"

A few advent reflections since this cold weather has me feeling like the holidays are just around the corner.

Our sermon Sunday night was based on the book of Second Corinthians, in particular, chapter 2.  We studied the aroma of Christ in this world - smells of life to those being saved, and the smells of death to those who are perishing.  It made me think of hog farmers - the smell of money to the farmer, not a feeling shared always by the neighbors. Just kidding.  A quote from Charlotte's Web and the Jesus Storybook Bible came to mind.

I don't know why I thought this after the sermon Sunday night, but maybe the aroma of Christ is quite similar to the smell of "living things," likely the first aromas Christ smelled the first hours of his life.

From 2 Corinthians 2
14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. 15 For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task? 17 Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God.

From Charlotte's Web, E.B. White, Chapter 3 
"The Barn was very large.  It was very old.  It smelled of hay and it smelled of manure.  It smelled of the perspiration of tired horses and the wonderful sweet breath of patient cows.  It often had a sort of peaceful smell - as though nothing bad could happen ever again in the world.  It smelled of grain and of harness dressing and of axle grease and of rubber boots and of new rope.  And whenever the cat was given a fish-head to eat, the barn would smell of fish.  But mostly it smelled of hay, for there was always hay in the great loft up overhead.  And there was always hay being pitched down to the cows and the horses and the sheep."

From the Jesus Storybook Bible, The Nativity, from Luke 2 - "He's Here"
"Mountains would have bowed down.  Seas would have roared.  Trees would have clapped their hands.  But the earth held its breath.  As silent as snow falling, he came in.  And when no one was looking, in the darkness, he came...[Mary and Joseph] couldn't find anywhere except an old, tumbledown stable.  So they stayed where the cows and the donkeys and the horses stayed.  And there, in the stable, amongst the chickens and the donkeys and the cows, in the quiet of the night, God gave the world his wonderful gift.  The baby that would change the world was born.  His baby Son.  

Mary and Joseph wrapped him up to keep him warm.  They made a soft bed of straw and used the animals' feeding trough as his cradle.  And they gazed in wonder at God's Great Gift, wrapped in swaddling clothes, and lying in a manger.  

Mary and Joseph names him Jesus, "Emmanuel" - which means "God has come to live with us."

Because, of course, he had."