From the pulpit: Story of life worth celebrating

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 3, 2006

The slippage of time is hardly noticed in small measurements. Usually, anniversaries of some sort are necessary for us to step back and consider time.

Marriages. Birthdays. Work relationships. Church memberships. All of these mark time spent and life lived. They stand as a kind of backdrop upon which the light of our living can be cast. We date ourselves by when we are born, when we start school, when we graduate, when we get married, when our children are born, when we move, when the big snow came, when our grandchildren are born or when our loved ones die. Events that occur as life unfolds and time slips by cause us to ponder.

History. The story of life. It&8217;s really interesting stuff. History, whether collective or individual is more than dates and times. History is life lived and experience gained. History gives birth to wisdom. And wisdom to, hopefully, better history for our children and their children. This past week marked what, to us as Christ followers, is the most important historical event in the history of the world. We remembered the birth of Jesus. We are told, or retold as it may be, that God&8217;s love for the world knows no limit and that God comes into the world not as something else, but as one of us. Flesh. Bone. Blood. Born of woman. A child in the manger. Simple. Bare. The hope and the light of the world. Jesus, full of grace and truth.

So, I want to encourage us with this story of Jesus &8212; encourage us to take it as our own, because that is exactly what it is &8212; our story of the great love that God pours out upon us. It is the love story that can change the world and bring the hope of God&8217;s kingdom to reality where we live, where our children will live and where their children will live and no matter where that may be. God has set out to change the history of the world and we are called to participate.

All Advent we have been warned, commanded, and encouraged to watch. Wait. Look. Be alert. Jesus&8217; advent is near. Christmas comes. And love rules. Hopefully, we have paid attention to the words of God&8217;s prophets and the gospel writers. Hopefully, we have learned from our history &8212; not so we can avoid it, but so we can live in the hope, peace, joy and love that is the history of the people of God. Ours is a history worth celebrating and repeating. Let us be busy doing both.

Mark Davenport serves as pastor at First Presbyterian Church of Alabaster (Cumberland). He can be reach by phone at 663-3152