I Am Not A Morning Person, But This May Change My Mind

One more fishing story before I move on. This one will find some of you chuckling and others will nod in agreement.
I am not a morning person. I love the lights of the night and seeing the stars. I am a night person. That being said, when my husband told me we had to get up at 4 a.m. to go on a fishing trip, I was a bit disturbed. However, since it was a gift and fishing trip, I was willing to do it. Against what I am used to doing, I went to bed at 8 p.m. I wanted to be fresh and wide awake the following day. I didn’t want to have to fight sleepiness.
We made it to our destination on time. It was still pretty dark. The day was getting brighter. As I stood on the edge of the water waiting for us to board the boat, I noticed the sun peeking up over the water. It was something rare for me to see. I suddenly realized how beautiful it was! I was fascinated by this new phenomenon. I was mesmerized by the sun and its beauty.
We soon got on the boat before the sun was completely up. I kept watching the sun. Finally, the sun was up over the water enough to be able to see the reflection of it on the water. It was beautiful! I realized how much I have missed by not getting up and seeing the sunrise. The reflection on the water sparkled. I was taken back by all of the beauty and the brightness of the reflection from the sun. I hold that memory dear in my heart.
As I sat there I could very clearly hear God say, “That is what you are to do. You are to reflect my glory in you.” I felt God’s love in a new and fresh way.
2 Corinthians 3:18 reminds us, “So, all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord who is the Spirit makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.” Once we become Christians, the veil is removed and we can see clearly the glory of the Lord. As we see God’s glory, we are to reflect that so others can see his glory in us. Just as I looked upon the water and saw the reflection of the sun, we are to be a reflection of God’s glory so others may see the beauty of God in us.
We are called as Christians to reflect not only God’s glory but his love as well. “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 God is a God that loves. We know that God is love. If we have turned our lives over to God, then we can be assured God loves us. If God loved us so much that he allowed his only Son to die for us, what right do we have not to reflect his love for others?
As I was thinking about this and trying to remember all that I took in, one thing I don’t remember is seeing the reflection on the water after the sun was completely up. Maybe it was still there and I missed it or I was too busy catching fish. I just don’t remember seeing it later in the day. As I thought about this, I was reminded there are times in our lives we lose the reflection of God in our lives. It may be because of busyness, or raising children, or careers, or whatever. We just get to the point where we have lost God’s glory in our lives. It’s in those times we need to get off by ourselves and watch a beautiful sunrise and be reminded of His glory. I would love to get up every morning and watch a beautiful sunrise, but even if I did, where I live it wouldn’t be as impressive. I live in a neighborhood and it’s not always easy to see the sun rise. But this adventure has made me realize there are times I need to get away and find a place where I can watch the sunrise so I can be reminded of God’s glory and my calling.
I cannot put into words the beauty of that morning. I cannot put into words the love I felt from God during those brief few minutes. All I can do is encourage you to get up one morning, drive to a place where you can see the sun rise and allow God’s glory to flow through you. Let that time be a reminder of how we are to be reflectors of God’s glory and his love.
I told our guide this would not be the last fishing trip we took and it certainly won’t be the last sunrise I see. There is something peaceful in seeing a beautiful sunrise. I am just sorry it took me all these years to realize it. The great thing about God is he is always waiting for us to step into his glory; no matter how long we take to do it.
I challenge you to get up and watch the sunrise one morning. Better yet, find a lake or a body of water and watch the reflection on the water as the sun rises. Allow God to speak to you and allow God’s peace and his glory flow through you. Close your eyes and feel the love he has for you. But, don’t leave it there. Go out into the world and reflect God’s glory so others may see him through you.
Dear God: I am so grateful for the opportunity to see the sunrise on the water. To see the reflection of the sun on the water and watch as it sparkled and danced about. Thank you for the reminder that I too am to be a reflection of the Son’s light. I am to reflect your glory and share your love with others. Remind me to catch a sunrise when the glow of the God’s glory begins to dim in my life. Thank you for loving me just as I am. Amen

Palm Sunday and The Red Carpet

We will be celebrating Passover this week. The children will gather at the entrances of the Sanctuary and then on key will begin parading waving Palms as the congregants sing. What a joyous time right?
I was thinking back to a couple of weeks ago at our children’s program on Wednesday. We were discussing Palm Sunday. They took their handprints and made their own palms to wave. One of the questions that was asked of the students was what would you do if a person you really liked showed up here at church. They named a singer that I can’t remember, but all the children named her. They said they would roll out the red carpet, get the media there to take pictures and they would welcome her there. They were excited and went on and on.
As I was thinking about this we often have parades to celebrate all kinds of things. We also have parades to celebrate people. There is often a parade for those who have won the World Series, or the Super Bowl or Olympians. These are folks we look up to and want to recognize. We roll out the red carpet for stars so often now I wonder if it means anything anymore. We have so many awards nights with red carpets. These are spectacular events with all the fanfare, confetti and crowds alike.
Now is a good time to pause and read John 12, “Jesus Enters Jerusalem”.
It wasn’t like that though for Jesus. He didn’t have a red carpet and a limo. He had a donkey and palm branches. There were no media taking his pictures and sharing it with the world. No photos were taken of Him and put on Facebook. The only thing that stood out was the waving of palm branches and the singing of Hosanna. The crowd was large and excited, but sadly many of these same people soon shouted something different a few days later.
The contrast between those who walk the red carpet today and Jesus is something we all need to be reminded of. Those walking the red carpet do not know our names nor do they care to know our names. We are dollar signs to them. We are the ones that go to their movies, buy their music and make them who they are. We are the ones that listen to the gossip about them, we are the ones who make or break them. They don’t mingle with us and they don’t associate with us.
 Christ on the other hand knows us personally. He can tell us more about ourselves than we care to know. He walks with us daily if we allow Him too. He cares what happens to us and He wants us to have a personal relationship with Him; something those who walk the carpet don’t want. They often distance themselves from us while Christ walks among the crowds and responds to each need.
Unfortunately today too many idolize one group and turn our backs on Christ and walk away. We worship people who could care less about us and ignore the one that cares the most about us. For many people today they look to the stars for the definition of love and ignore the one who knows all about love.
Millions of dollars are spent on watching movies, paying athletes salaries, and downloading music while millions of others are going hungry or struggling to pay bills. It’s all in the name of entertainment. It’s supposed to make us feel good, help us forget about life for a while and make us smile.
Christ is not in the entertainment business. Christ is not all about walking the red carpet or fanfare and confetti. Christ is all about wanting to have a personal relationship with us. Christ doesn’t care about our entertainment; He cares about our souls and our spirits.
Christ riding on a donkey is not about one event, but about God living among us and being present with us today. It’s about Him making a triumphant entry into our lives. To Him it’s about changing our lives and  us singing, “Hosanna”. God’s not looking for people who will praise and sing Hosanna one day and condemn the next. He’s looking for people who want a relationship and proclaim Hosanna and mean it. Some laid their coats and shirts on the ground for the donkey to ride on. Christ is looking for people who are willing to lay down their lives for Him.
Christ is not all about performing miracles for us or giving us everything we want and need. Christ is not about being a King and leading a government or being a celebrity, famous athlete or star. He wasn’t there to save a nation or a world. He was there to safe one life at a time. Christ is more about being the King of our lives.
This Sunday we will stand and with loud voices sing, “Hosanna” but after the pomp and circumstance will you still be with Christ or will you be one that joins the crowd and yell, “Crucify Him! Crucify Him! We each have a choice to be with Him through the Holy Week or we have the choice to run with the crowd. What will your choice be?
Dear God: Forgive me for those times I have turned from you. Forgive me for those times I have praised you and then in the next breath cursed you. You wanted to make a triumphant entry into my life and I have allowed you to do so. Let me never go along with the crowd and condemn you. Be the King you always wanted to be in my life. Let me honor you as a King should be honored. Thank you for suffering and dying on my behalf. Thank you for taking my sins to the cross. Let me never forget the price you paid so I might be free to live with you someday. As I move into Holy Week prepare my heart and my mind as I remember what you did for me. Amen.