Friday, December 2, 2011

This Week at Mt. Olive

Good afternoon, fellow redeemed!

"But the anointing that you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need in order that anyone should teach you; but as His anointing is teaching you concerning all things, and is true and not false, just as also you were taught, you are remaining in Him" (1 John 2:27).

The things that distract our attention are numerous. A couple of years ago, the Texas state legislature outlawed the use of cellular phones in school zones on streets. Why? It was readily obvious at least to me: cell phones distract drivers.

The things that distract us in the life of faith are even more damaging. We teach the omnipresence of God to our children, that God is everywhere. The result? Our children, and our adults for that matter, begin to believe that God is at whatever activity or inactivity chosen. The truth is that God is everywhere, but not in grace. The lesson from Moses, Isaiah, Elijah, Peter, Paul, and others in Holy Scripture is that any time we go looking for God in the ways we want, or judgment is always the result.

Where is God in grace? Where is God in mercy? Where does the Triune God break into time and space to come to us? It's in His chosen means, in the waters of our Baptism, in the preaching of the Gospel, in the Word of absolution, in the holy Sacrament of the Altar.

What distracts us from our attention to our faith? What supplants attention to prayer? These are the other things John mentions that teach us. They present us with a Jesus who is a lot of things, but not a Savior.

In this Advent season, let's clear away the clutter of distractions in life so that we may hear and receive our Lord who comes to us in grace and mercy.

A couple of reminders are in order:
The Christmas Wassail Party is being held at the home of Bill and Mavis Waterman this Sunday (4 DEC) from 2-5 p.m. Please bring a favorite appetizer or dessert to share!

Christmas program practice begins this Sunday at 1:30 p.m. and will last until 3 p.m. Readers, actors...okay, let's be clear...children are needed!

Confirmation instruction begins this Sunday at 12 p.m. To be ready, please review the First Article and Explanation (that would be good for all confirmed adults, too).

God bless!

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