From the Desktop of the Pastor – Week of the 4th Sunday of Advent

Hi everyone,

So once one thing is fixed, another thing fails. Isn’t that always the case? I finally got most of the technology to work for our livestream, and then not even half way through the sermon, the video cut out. Thankfully the sound still worked, but those of you at home were just looking at a black screen. And ugh, I just hate it when that happens.

I know this has been happening a lot lately, and I’ve talked about it through this medium even, but I do feel compelled to explain yet again how this glitch wasn’t my fault. I nailed it down to one bad cable that just decided to call it quits in the middle of the service. Of course, it didn’t do that when I set everything up and tested extensively last night, but just today when I needed it to work. Thankfully I do have a back up cable, but now I’ll need to get a back up for this back up.

And while I’ve been saying how ok I am with these things happening, like I don’t really stress about them anymore, they continue to be a fear of mine and I think about it a lot (that doesn’t count as being stressed about it, it is more like being “occupied”). I’m still scared of them happening, I’m scared that I won’t know how to fix it, I’m scared that it’ll ruin worship.

But even in these fears I’ve found that worship goes on. In spite of the technical failures worship continues to happen. Even when I fail, God doesn’t.

And so while I might not ever get over these fears, I can rest assured that God will be with us in our worship, in our every day lives, and even in our failures.

Here are our readings for next week:
Isaiah 7:10-16
Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19

Romans 1:1-7

Matthew 1:18-25

Gosh, if I’m afraid of a bit of technology failing me on a Sunday, imagine what it’d be like trying to raise the Son of God. I can’t even fathom what was going on in Joseph’s head, other than maybe wondering what he drank before going to bed. It sounds like a very large undertaking: marrying a pregnant woman, raising a child that apparently isn’t yours, and then preparing the child to save the world. If Joseph wasn’t scared, I’m pretty sure he was “occupied”.

Poor Joseph isn’t mentioned in our bibles much more than what we get this week, so we don’t really know how his story progressed. We do, however, know how his adopted son’s story progresses. And it progresses well.

So no matter what fears Joseph might have had, God still was present with him and his family. No matter what stresses or anxieties Joseph might have faced, God’s promises and providence continued on. No matter how occupied Joseph felt, God’s plan to save the world was unaffected and remained true and faithful.

This isn’t to say that our feelings and participation and even failures don’t matter, but it is to say that God’s sovereignty somehow finds a way. It works in us, through us, and often in spite of us, motivating and empowering us to join in for the ride.

This is liberating for us who stress a bit more than average, and also challenging for us who prefer a more “hands off” approach. Either case, we know that God is with us through it all, and helps us in our times of difficulty and anxiety.

Thanks be to God! Have a great week, everyone!

Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash

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