Monday, 12/20/21 – “Luv?”

“Luv?”

“There you go, Luv,” she said as she handed me my breakfast sandwich. Yet, I’d never met the woman previously, had no relationship with her whatsoever, and… in fact, I didn’t even know her name! Yet, not only now but throughout our brief conversation she had repeatedly referred to me with the endearing term “Luv.” Not “Love,” or “My dear sir,” or just “Dear,” but the more intimate, colloquial form, “Luv” — as though we had known each other for years, long enough to have imbedded the term into the relationship.

As I wandered off, breakfast bag and coffee in hand, I wondered… Had she mistaken me for someone else? Or worse: had I suffered some severe memory loss… perhaps had a stroke?

Sitting down at the nearest available table, and very much to my relief, I heard her say to the man next in line, “What can I get for you, Luv?”

In time I would learn the commonality of the phrase in maritime Canada. “Buddy” was another such term, used mostly among men, but requiring no previous relationship with the party being mentioned.

“Do you love Me?” Jesus asked Simon (John 21:15-17)… three times He asked, pressing Peter to search his heart the more deeply with each interrogative probe.

“Lord, Lord,” some will cry, but to them the Lord will say, “I never knew you… depart from Me!” (Matt. 7:21-23).

To Whom do you call when you pray? Is it to One of Whom you have true knowledge?… relationship?… love? Is it the “Abba” cry of sonship, or the scripturally correct yet somewhat aloof “Our Father…” a term more suited to the lips of a pharisee?

Have you ever truly met Jesus? Do you have a relationship with Him? Do you know His Name?

“Do you love Me?” He asks us all, for He indeed loves us… each one at a time. To answer this is the purpose of life, and the reason of Christmas.

More tomorrow…

To hear this past Sunday’s message, go to the Facebook page of Lincoln Baptist Church, or link to the livestream from the church website.

Monday, 11/29/21 – Pressing on… 1st candle: “Hope”

1st candle: “Hope”

The first candle of Advent represents Hope. It is called “the prophet’s candle” for it was the hope in the coming Messiah which characterized much of their messages. Christmas celebrates that coming for in Christ the approximate 456 scriptures referencing this Messiah are fulfilled.

A hoax, you say? Let’s consider a very few points an alleged “imposter” infant would have had to manipulate…

To fulfill just a few of these prophecies he must be born to a virgin (Isa. 7:14), born in Bethlehem (Mic. 5:2), yet spend time in Egypt (Hos. 11:1). He must be a descendant of King David (Ezek. 37:24). He must begin his ministry in Galilee (Isa. 9:1-2), teaching “hidden things, things from of old” (Ps. 78:1-2), he would need to live a completely holy life, become a rock over which many would stumble (Isa. 8:14), yet one worthy of the names “Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace” (Isa. 9:6). God would speak from heaven and call him “My Son” (2 Sam. 7:14) (Ps. 2:1-9) and in time he would gather his people together again (Isa. 11:12).

Let’s not forget the astrological manipulation this child would, from the womb, need to accomplish: signs in the heavens, observable by Magi, the star which heralded his birth and led the shepherds, the darkness which some 33 years later accompanied his death upon the cross. The miracles he performed and his storm stilling, fish drawing power over nature. I could go on and on…

But of course this child is no hoax. Rather, as we sing, “This, this is Christ the King..” He is Lord of all lord’s and King of all kings, our HOPE and Deliverer!

Do you have this Hope? When all else fails is there yet something… Someone… within you… to sustain you… to cry to… cling to… Someone to Whom you can abandon…. Yes, entrust, your soul?

This first candle of Advent represents such a One…. Our Hope, and Deliverer.

More tomorrow… 

To hear this past Sunday’s message, go to the Facebook page of Lincoln Baptist Church, or link to the livestream from the church website.