Corky your beagle’s ears perk up, a ‘ruff’ then the doorbell rings initiating a full scale ‘yappity yap’ canine alert! You get up from scrubbing the slop marks on the linoleum from yesterday’s spilt macaroni and upon opening the door you see the beaming face of Ariana Grande, or Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, or Selena Gomez, or Robert Downey Jr, or — you fill in the blank.
Behind this individual stand two burley security guards, behind them — out on your street – you see a gleaming stretch limo. A chauffeur in tailored white jacket sits patiently at the wheel, while another security person stands alertly by the vehicle ready to open the passenger door.
“Hi!” says Ariana, or Dwayne, or Selena, or Robert, or whomever, “I’d like to be your friend. Wanna come for a ride with me in the limo? There’s plenty of room.”
You drop your macaroni soaked paper towel, dumbfounded! Corky even seems stunned! He stops yapping and sits down at the doorway. An odd cock of his head. Corky loves car rides!
And so you become friends. Just like that. There’s no camera’s or waivers or product endorsement deals in any fine print. You and Ariana, or Dwayne, or Selena, or Robert, or whomever are Just good friends. You see him, or her, in all their grandeur and glory, just for no special reason at all except the graces of the luminary, this star that came to your door just wanting to be your friend.
This is the marvel Pastor Andrew wants us to see in his message Sunday morning*. This is the marvel the shepherds experienced in beholding the glory of God,
“An angel of the Lord appeared to them,
and the glory of the Lord shone around them,
and they were terrified.” (Luke 2:9)
And this is the marvel available to every person who responds to God’s call in Christ. The truth and proof of His desire to befriend us is this, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom. 5:8) “We have seen his glory,” recounts John, “the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)
Jesus explained it this way,
“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends…” (John 15:13-15)
God Almighty has come to us, made a way through Christ for us to come to Him, to be at peace in His Presence, to share in His glory, to be His friends, macaroni mess and all… “Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters.” (Heb. 2:11)
And that’s occasion to jump for joy, to sing with the angels,
“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” (Luke 2:14)
Wanna go for a ride? There’s plenty of room.
*Look for Pastor Andrew’s full message here under Media, Sunday Dec. 23/18.