In the middle of very busy workloads, we’re glad you decided to pause with us to remember what God has done in the past and look forward to what He will do in the future. Though quick, these little pauses are sacred, because they sit right in the middle of all the ordinary… And isn’t that where we usually find God? As you listen to Scott and Jayne Cuidon, we pray your heart will stir with memory and hope. For, as Julian of Norwich put it, “All is well, and all will be well, and all manner of things will be well.”
Is it any wonder that over and over the Lord says in Scripture, “I will never leave you and I will never abandon you” (Hebrews 13:5 NET)? His words let us know that not only does He know us, He understands us. And not only does He understand us, He “stretches out” and goes the distance with us.
Maybe you’re like us and find that when entering the Christmas season sometimes the pull of gifts, parties, connections, and caring for our communities creates some chaos and, of all things, disconnection. Of all the things we’re after in this season, disconnection isn’t it–we already have enough of that!
I read a blog the other day remarking on the irony that during the holiday season people talk a lot about joy and, at the same time, that very thing seems hardest to find. With Thanksgiving Day clean up, Black Friday madness, and all the blitz and bling associated with Christmas, it’s no wonder that so many find themselves wanting to withdraw from the frenzy and just cuddle up with a cuppa (this, for my British friends) and listen to Kenny G.
Simply put, chairo (rejoice) means, “to be glad by grace,” which seems to change the command to something more like an invitation and desire on Paul’s part. It’s like he is saying, “I want you to delight in God’s grace and literally enjoy it, to be conscious of it as an ongoing part of your life. Even though you are up against trying times, I want you to taste God’s goodness and bask in His smile and love for you.”
Nearing His final hours, Jesus was eager to eat Passover with His disciples (Luke 22:15). He wanted to spend one last meal with them, showing them the connection between Passover and what was about to happen. So, during the meal He took the bread and gave thanks (eucharisteo), broke the bread and gave it to them. I say “thanks” before meals, but not like this.