by Pastor Mark Jordan
We were able to have a bit of a laugh last Sunday as we lit our Advent wreath at The Well. My mom gladly ordered a new set of candles from Amazon as a donation to the church to be delivered in plenty of time before worship. I started getting a little leery by Saturday when they had not yet arrived, but held out hope. Come Sunday morning, no candles. Luckily, Robin Chance had a purple candle in her stash we could use. I checked with mom, and she said Amazon sent her a note that the delivery was lost.
I couldn’t help but chuckle, because Amazon generally has no trouble finding our house. We probably get one or two packages a week. I admit I was a little annoyed, but by no means upset, because God revealed to me a message that offered me hope on the Sunday of hope.
Things might not always come as we expect or prefer, but they come. Sometimes God sends His provision in ways to remind us we need Him and others. As reliable as Amazon can be, it pales in comparison to the eternal giver of salvation. And when we experience disappointment, God sends people to help us know we can’t do life alone.
Have you ever noticed the curved arrow under the Amazon logo? Did you know it means you can get everything from A to Z from them? As amazing as it is, it pales in comparison to the gift of Jesus which ushers in a new understanding of Advent’s themes: hope, peace, love, and joy. These themes help build anticipation for the coming Big Event, but that is only a part of the story; for just as Jesus came, He promised to come again. Jesus Himself IS…plain and simple. As we read in Revelation 21:8, “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty” (NIV).
I have a piece of good news — the candles arrived, and even a day earlier than Amazon predicted after they were located. They went all over the east coast, zig-zagging along their way to Cartersville. Maybe that was needed to represent the light of God in ways and places it might not otherwise have gone. But, they are here now, and ready to shine in worship on Sunday. It cannot be a coincidence that they are called, “Praise Light.”
As we get ready for Christmas, may we be prepared to shine Jesus light in every way and every place. It is the light that the Creator called forth in the very beginning (Genesis 1:3), and it is the light that will shine perpetually. You get to shine that light, too, even in the midst of disappointment. So in all ways and places, let your light shine, because in so doing, you can let people know that God is still good (Matthew 5:14-16).
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for shining in my life. Help me to see you in the times and places where I might otherwise feel disappointment or disillusionment. I know you are the Alpha and Omega, who was, and is, and is to come, and I praise you for your presence and provision in all ways and all things. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.