From the Desktop of the Pastor – week of the 4th Sunday in Advent

Hi everyone,

So… this was just the week from hell, am I right?  If by chance you haven’t heard/seen/shovelled, we had a lot of snow hit the Lower Mainland this past week, and of course all the jokes about the city of Vancouver coming to a complete halt when there’s as much as an inch of snow on the ground is completely true.

I’m sure we all have nightmarish stories to share about how we were late for work, or how we were stuck on a hill, or how we had to dig our way out of our own houses.  Maybe we were unprepared and had to fight for that last bag of salt in the store, maybe we had to search the house for our ski gloves, or maybe we just felt slightly colder than we’re comfortable with.  Either case, it wasn’t a week that went as smooth as we had hoped in our household, at least.

We missed a lot of school, a lot of work, and a lot of soccer.  We planned on going to all those things, but it just didn’t work out.  Instead, there was a lot of stress in missing things, a lot of worry about the road conditions, and a lot of preparing in making sure the kids were warm enough in this weather that we quite honestly aren’t used to.

But, we got to spend time together as a family.  We got to play in the snow.  We got to make this really awesome snowman that turned out to be an ice slide that also didn’t work, but hey, we tried.

While the snow was unexpected and made the days more inconvenient and imperfect, it definitely was worth it.

The readings for next week are:

Isaiah 7:10-16

Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19

Romans 1:1-7

Matthew 1:18-25

If we can learn anything from these texts, it’s that life doesn’t ever seem to go as planned.  From the inability to launch a successful attack, to the church you’re persecuting ending up to be the one you become a part of, to your fiancée showing up one day announcing that she’s pregnant with someone else’s baby, it seems like a couple days of snow is just a walk in the park.

But we see in the midst of the confusion, the frustration, and the anxiety in plans going awry, that God enters into our lives at that point.  God.  With us.  Immanuel (or Emmanuel, depending on what Testament you’re reading).

This is an amazing promise.  Why?  Because like we’ve determined, life doesn’t always go as planned.  Life hardly is wrapped up in a nice neat package for us to open and admire at our convenience.  No, life is often messy, surprising, and unpredictable.  So knowing that God is with us in those times is comforting.  God with us doesn’t mean that God’s causing it, mind you, but it does mean that God helps us through it, showing us the paths of righteousness, and granting us the peace of truth.

So as our Christmas plans likely go in a direction that we ironically didn’t plan them to go, may we always see God at work somewhere in the quiet miracles of everyday life.

Have a great week everyone!

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