Aloha Friday Message – December 5, 2008

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It’s that time of year when the commercials are thick with gift suggestions. This gadget or that toy will make someone very happy. All of your problems can be solved by buying a collection of plastic containers, or a new vacuum cleaner, or the latest kitchen-tool, or amazing glue or super-cleaner, or kitchen-wonder, and a new fragrance or make-up or a new car – any of these can make your drab life go super-nova. The new sunglasses you get will brighten your world. This amazing purse will totally organize your whole life and protect you from theft. This toothpaste will whiten, brighten, protect, and clean; and if you use it with that amazing toothbrush, the results will be dazzling. You can get 10,000 uses from a plastic disposable razor or from one that’s made of precious metals. You can keep all your houseplants from dying as they happily and automatically guzzle water from a hand-blown glass doodad.

Sometimes the commercials show black-and-white images of amazingly inept people trying to slice an over-ripe tomato and instead they squash it. Or they are tossing and turning in bed, or washing their car, or doing any simple daily chore and in fuzzy black and white we see them fail with elaborate overacting. And we know that they are not truly incompetent. They just don’t have the right new doodad to solve the problem. We also know with each phrase either shouted at us by Billy Mays or crooned to us by that mysterious guy with the deep voice that we are getting closer and closer to the catchphrase we fully expect to hear any second now:

“BUT WAIT!! NOT ONLY ….”

Now the commercial emphasizes not only will our live be changed for the better, but there is hope for even greater change. If you act now, but wait until you hear the super bonus you’ll get if you listen to the rest of the commercial, you can get twice as much of only $19.99, or and extra hour of WWII footage for $10 less, or some other equally useless gadget if you “just pay preparation and handling.” And as we watch (I know, I always watch them too even though I don’t want to), we know that what they are selling is probably junk, but such a bargain! And who wouldn’t want to be the envy of all their friends, have all the coolest (and cheapest) stuff, and totally get their life together?

“BUT WAIT!! NOT ONLY ….”

It is not just the gadget people who ask us to wait and to be wowed by something extraordinary, something life-changing. God also asks us to wait because He is going to exceed every expectation we can gather up in our hearts and minds. Unlike the commercials we know so well, God is not promising us junk. He is promising Himself. HE will come to us, HE himself will pasture His sheep, HE will save us, and HE will make us clean and holy and joyous and eternal just like HE is.

Advent is that time of year when we anticipate with great hope the message of Advent: “BUT WAIT!! NOT ONLY ….” Not only has God come to us to save us, He has also promised to come and change the whole Universe so we can be with Him for ever. All of this Hope and Joy and Love is ours, not for ninety-ninety-ninety-ninety, not for seventy-nine, not for nineteen-ninety-nine but for only a single word: “Yes.” Yes, I believe, Yes I have faith, Yes to His Everlasting Love, Yes I will wait in joyful hope for the coming of the Lord. I will be still and wait upon the Lord. I will embrace hope and my strength will be renewed. I will wait for the Lord and keep His way. I will be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. I will wait, not idly sit, but actively wait for and pursue my hope. I will serve as I wait. I will wait while I serve. Yes. And with your YES, all the shipping and handling costs are FREE.

Titus, chapter 2: 11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.

That is definitely worth waiting for.

Whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever, however, if ever — at your service
Chick

Photo by Yuuji Kitahara: http://www.janis.or.jp/users/kitahara/sww/e-sw-index.html

This shows my favorite constellation, Orion – among others. Look for it. Maybe we could also be part of the Star Shine Network?!?!?

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About Chick Todd

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

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