Aloha Friday Message – December 9, 2011 – Extremem Makeovers

1149AFC120911 Aloha Friday Episode of Extreme Makeover

Read it online here.

1 Thessalonians 5:17 – Pray without ceasing.

“It’s been in interesting week in Lake Wobegon.” So begins one of our family’s favorite features on the PBS Program, Prairie Home Companion. Well, it’s been an interesting week in Kapaa, Hawaii, too. Our refrigerator has been dying a slow but quiet (albeit smelly) death. Here on Kaua‘i, you can’t just run over to the Appliances Store and pick up a new one. While some stores carry many brands and some only a few on their display floor, the number in stock and ready-for-delivery are surprisingly few. Our poor fridge had been warmer than it should be for nearly two weeks, so we are eager to see our new one arrive TODAY! Sort of a make-over for our kitchen. I just hope it fits through the front door!

This week we also celebrated the Immaculate Conception, a feast day not all that well understood (or attended) by many Catholics, and barely conceptualized by non-Catholics. Things at the office have been a little nuts, too, as I start the marathon toward our accreditation survey. Although we try to be “perpetually ready,” recent changes in the accreditation standards leave us with a lot of makeovers there, too.

This past Sunday our Associate Pastor, Fr. Robbie Deka, delivered a homily that began with reminiscences about watching the TV show, Extreme Makeover Home Edition. He reminded us of the emotions we feel as we see someone’s home transformed into something amazing and then the big impact that comes after the crowd shouts, “Bus driver! MOVE THAT BUS!” as the family tours their new digs; we empathize with them as they find delight after delight.

Sometimes the house is just gutted and totally refurbished inside. Other times, the old house is razed and a new on constructed in its place. Whatever the case, the makeover is extreme. It takes a lot of workers about a week to totally transform one house. If that was being done only by Ty, the host, it would take … way too long for television!!

As we prepare for Christmas Celebrations, we too are invited to consider an Extreme Makeover. Many times that’s going to take at least a little remodeling in one part of our lives or another. Sometimes it takes an extensive renovation of everything but the exterior of our lives. Other times, sadly, it means starting over from scratch and rebuilding everything. At times we wish we could do an Extreme Makeover on the whole world – or at least our own neighborhood. But, most of the time that’s out of our sphere of influence. Mostly, we need to tackle things we can handle ourselves, or with the help of a few friends and wise counselors.

This passage is part of the second reading for this coming Sunday. Next Sunday is the third of the four Sundays. It has been called Gaudete Sunday in times past, and sometimes the vestments are Rose or Pink. It is a Sunday when we are reminded to REJOICE because the Victory has been won through what started in Bethlehem. Yes, we are at war, and yes we must keep going, but YES we can also rejoice for we know already that the outcome will be something good for all mankind, and we will have been part of that.

“Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (I Thessalonians 5: 16-18)

We see WAR all around the world and it is in sharp contrast to this season preparing for and commemorating the birth of Jesus. We see unprecedented natural disaster, atrocious crimes, staggering poverty, rampant disease, and we wonder, “What can I do about that? It’s more than I can handle!”

When we watch Extreme Makeover on TV we notice that there is always a plan, a blueprint, and a way to get the work coordinated. The workers are happy and motivated because they are making a difference, and Extreme difference, in the life of at least one family.

The plan involve figuring out where to start and what to keep, the blueprint directs the builders on how to change things, and the work is coordinated by a team of experienced and skilled workers who willingly get to the job at hand.

Paul has a suggestion for those kinds of situations, great or small, and it is wonderfully simple, It is the plan, the blueprint and the workforce all rolled into one: “Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

The Plan? Rejoice always. The Blueprint? Pray without ceasing. The workforce: A thankful people – or person – using the blueprint to implement the plan. God has a plan, and even though a certain serpent sullied it in The Beginning, the blueprint and the workforce were already prepared. The blueprint? The promise of Salvation. The workforce? The Son of God – “The Boss’s Kid.”

And so, beloved, if you find you need to do a little remodeling, or a more extensive renovation, or even a complete build-over, open your User’s Manual (the B.I.B.L.E.) and learn how to use the tools the Master Builder and Architect of the Universe has provided for you. Here’s the basic concept upon which we can make our decisions: “A clean heart create for me, God; renew within me a steadfast spirit.” That should be enough to get anyone started.

Beloved PRAY. Here’s one you’ve seen before. Philippians 4:6-8: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” And if that’s still not enough to get you started, sing “Let There Be Peace on Earth.” The concept comes highly recommended. Recall the Herald Angels’ Song: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” (Luke 2:14)

PRAY for one another. Pray for your friends, pray for your family (especially if they are not your friends!). Pray for the World. Pray. Pray. Pray

Here’s a special and poignant prayer request from ECP: PLEASE!! Say a BIG prayer for the poor lady WITH six (6) kids in Tucson. The poor woman was in a crosswalk (going to school/college?) and a car hit her. A second car ran over her. She died. And now six (6) children don’t have their mommy for Christmas.
Here are some other locations where you can read about today’s message:

Whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever, however, if ever, forever — at your service, Beloved.

Please also be sure to pray for Peace in families besieged by war, terrorism, infidelity, strife, violence, and sin.

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About Chick Todd

American Roman Catholic reared as a "Baptiterian" in Denver Colorado.

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