Monday, December 26, 2011

Direction for 2012

On Tuesday night I fixed a couple of incomplete thoughts and sentences in the following, otherwise written Monday evening.  

Toni and I are home for a couple days after some time at my brother's yesterday over to this morning.  Our sons and some other dear ones are headed to Hutchinson in a bit to see the new Sherlock Holmes movie.  It's nice to have some time off.

Yesterday morning at worship we gathered 'round a manger that one of our church's willing workers had cobbled together as a prop for the Dec. 18 Christmas program.  At the south end of the circle we placed a throne style chair.  It also had been used at the Dec 18 program.  Isaac Morris had played the part of King Herod that day; and then on Christmas Eve during the Time for Children he'd been demoted.  The throne was meant for King Jesus, the same one who had been laid in the manger on the night when he was born.

Yesterday morning we heard the Christmas story once again, sang carols, and, bit by bit, wound our way to a message based on Revelation 1:5-6, where it speaks of us as a "kingdom" and "priests to serve our God."  I haven't yet listened to it on the website that Crossroads uses, but it seems to me that God was leading us in a good direction--a direction that God set for us on Christmas Eve.  If you can, take time to listen to the message from that night--it begins at about 25 minutes into the hour of worship that you can find at this link -

It's a good direction--but it is new.  I've served as a pastor for 25 years but I've never really focused on Jesus' role as King--nor of our place as princes/ses in the Lord's realm.

One of the dear ones that is with us these days is Kelly Gilbert.  She's soon off to Africa on a Youth Encounter Mission.  Tonight she loaned me a book that my sons have been encouraging me to read for some time--The Supernatural Ways of Royalty by Kris Vallontton and Bill Johnson.  The book is helping me understand more of what it means to be part of the KINGDOM of God.

The book, together with what the Lord was bringing our way yesterday is an important "opening" to our understanding.  Sometimes we consider ourselves to be "sinners saved by grace" period, while, actually, there's more to us "in Christ" that that.
"We are not just soldiers of the cross; we are heirs to the throne.  Jesus' divine nature permeates our souls, transforms our minds, transplants our hearts and transfigures our spirits.  We were made to be vessels of His glory and vehicles of his light."  (from Vallontton and Johnson's book)
As we move into 2012, the Lord is leading us to be more confident in who we are:  Christ's own kingdom, and priests to serve our God.

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