Monday, December 8, 2014

Message from Keith de Laet, Middle School Teacher

I’m writing this devotion on Friday, December 5, and I will warn you in advance that this probably is not your typical pre-Christmas devotion.  There are a lot of things to look forward to with Christmas and all that it brings, but that isn’t what is on my mind.  I am preoccupied with something else at this point in time, something that probably seems a little odd to other people.  I am preoccupied with the fact that December 7th will fall on a Sunday this year, just as it did in 1941.

Ever since I was in high school, December 7th has had a special fascination for me.  I was in our high school band and every December 7th we would board the bus and head to the state capitol to perform patriotic songs in front of the anchor from the U.S.S. Arizona.  There were speeches, songs, more speeches, testimonies from people who were directly involved, and other such things that really got me to think.  What was it like for those individuals who were, more than likely, looking forward to their own Christmas celebrations, to witness first-hand the radical transition from peace to war?  The world changed in a radical way for the United States that December, and yet Christmas came that December 25th just as it had in the past.  Prayers were certainly different that Christmas and worship may have been more intense, perhaps in some way we were pressing into God with more dedication than usual.

So I have been thinking about that and about just how quickly our plans, ideas, and commitments can be changed by the events of life.  Sometimes our plans come together just like we think they will, and sometimes plans change for better or worse.  To me, that accentuates our need to place ourselves in the unchanging, unwavering hands of God.  Please don’t get me wrong, I love the fact that Jesus came at Christmas and I hold dear everything that means for us as believers.  One of those things I cling to is Jesus’ statement, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age."  (Matthew 28:20)  There have been many times in my life when that promise was the gift I needed the most.

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