Friday, December 11, 2009
(This is Friday's blog that missed getting posted.)
Good morning all! How is your day going? I'm just trying to get about a zillion things done around here before this evening. We're having a Hannukah party - our first ever - and approximately 20 people will be descending on our little house - and I do mean little! - about 7:00 tonight. Before that happens, though, there's housework to attend to, grocery shopping to be done, lots of cooking and baking...chili to make and a cake to bake...(sounds like a song...) and a cat to be taken to the vet. I think that's all. Anyway, I sure hope it is!
And although my day is just getting started, I've already heard all kinds of bad news and it wasn't through television, the internet or radio. It was from family and friends who have real needs because of the situations in their lives. Probably none of us even needs to turn to outside sources to find difficult circumstances. There are plenty of them all around us, which is not surprise considering today's economy and the general conditions of the world.
I'm reminded of the time that Jesus rebuked one guy for being upset about Mary pouring the costly perfume all over his feet when it could have been sold for a great deal of money to help the poor. Jesus told them that they would always have the poor with them, but what she had done would be remembered and spoken of always. And to this day, that is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful stories in the Bible.
Even in the midst of difficult circumstances with sorrows all around, Jesus was to be honored and adored. I used to be upset about the fact that he seemed heartless in his response...you know, that he would just tell them that the poor would always be here. It seemed to me that he considered what she was doing to be of greater importance than feeding the poor. But I really didn't get it. He was setting a precedent in that moment about how we are to live our lives.
The Lord wanted his disciples to understand that our first priority should be our worship of God. And not just throwing a prayer up to God from time to time. He wanted them (and us) to be extravagant in our worship. He wanted them to see that there will always be needs, trials, struggles, hunger, poverty and every other difficult circumstance we can possibly imagine that will fight for first place in each one of us. There will be things that will labor to push us away from giving him our very best because we're worried, depressed, hurt or confused by circumstances around us.
Beloved friends, whether it's divorce, a death, an illness, job loss or trouble at school... whatever the circumstances, we can't afford to withhold our worship of the very One who created us. It could even be that there are wonderful things taking place in our lives that distract us from our relationship with him, but we must remember that he is The Way - and truly, he is the only Way. You and I need him every day of our lives. We cannot afford to forget that.
So, with all of the circumstances and things that need to be done before our guests arrive, I'm making sure that I give Him my full attention and devotion before I head into the rest of the day. Of course I realize that He is always with me, but I want personal time with Him without all of the busyness of the day. Undivided attention time. I need His strength and the fellowship of His presence. Not only do I need it, I want it all of the time. I want HIM all of the time. I pray for all of us - me included - that the passion of our love for Him will only increase and that each of us will be so hungry for His presence that nothing will ever be able to deter us from pursuing Him with every fiber of our beings.
Love to all!