ARLINGTON CHRISTIAN CHURCH
(Disciples of Christ)

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From the Pastor's Desk

 


Lee.jpg Leap of Faith.  (Not to be confused with the movie of the same name)

The movie is from the early 1990s.  The Google page describes it like this.  "Touring Christian evangelist Jonas Nightengale (Steve Martin) and his cohorts tend to put on their bogus faith-healing revivals in major cities, where hefty donations flow freely.  But, when Jonas and company find themselves stuck in a remote nook of Kansas, they decide to perform for the locals and take them for all they are worth.  The shows go off without a hitch, until sensible lawman Will Braverman (Liam Neeson) catches on to the scam and vows to prove to everyone that Jonas is a fake."  It is a better movie than the description indicates.  I can recommend it to you.

Our leap of faith has to do with the calendar.  The year 2020 is a leap year.  Leap years occur almost every 4 years because the earth’s trip around the sun is not exactly 365 days.  It takes about an extra six hours to complete the journey.  In order to compensate for this difference, we add an extra day every 4 years so our calendar doesn’t get too far off for the change of seasons. For years divisible by 100, like 2000, only one in four is a leap year.  The ones not divisible by 400 like 1700, 1800, 1900, 2100, 2200, 2300 ... are not leap years.  I am glad people smarter than I am can figure this stuff out.

Our calendar proves that we can never be in perfect sync with God’s creation.  Adam and Eve didn’t worry about a clock or calendar, and they still got themselves off track.  Even 4500 years later, the exact time wasn’t important to the Jews.  That is one reason the Bible is not considered to be historical by some people.  It is a good thing our faith isn’t based on things that happened at a specific time, but just that they happened.

With this being a leap year, February will have 29 days instead of the usual 28.  What this means is -- we have an extra day to serve the Lord this month.  Do not dismiss this opportunity.  People of faith should always be alert to big and small opportunities to do God’s will.  This world we live in is in great need of Christian love.  We are here to be the sharers of that love.

To pull a paragraph out of my sermon from January 26 (soon to be posted on our Facebook page), "One of the reasons Christians are not supposed to isolate themselves from the world, as a way to keep themselves pure, is that God’s opportunities come to us from all directions.  Some of God's opportunities involve getting ourselves dirty.  Some of them may cost us more than we are willing to spend.  Some of them put us in a position of servant-hood.  Some of them take us out of our comfort zone.  And some of them just don't seem to make any sense."  Enjoy your extra day of opportunities this month, don’t let it or them go to waste.

Bro. Lee



PREVIOUS NOTE FROM THE PASTOR



PERFECT VISION!

Wouldn’t it be great to be able to see everything exactly the way it is.  Well, this is the year to do that - 2020 (20/20).  Sorry for the bad joke.  I am not so sure how much of a blessing that kind of perfect vision would be.  Yes, it would be wonderful to see all the colors of nature just as God created them and to see the beauty in the smile of a new baby.

But there is a downside.  We would also see all of our faults and shortcomings with perfect clarity.  I am not so sure I would like that.  How about you?  Do you want to be constantly reminded of your imperfection?  We are called, by our faith, to look at ourselves with perfect vision every day.  When we see dirt, we are to clean it - and keep clean.  It’s called repentance.  John the Baptist and Jesus both preached repentance.

John came to prepare the world for the Christ by calling for a change in life.  He warned us to look at ourselves with perfect vision and then make ourselves into beautiful people we will enjoy seeing.  That warning is still viable 2000 years later.

Make a New Years Resolution to live your faith every minute of 2020.  Your life here will be better and your life after here will be the best.

“Here’s looking at you, kid.”

Happy New Year,
Bro. Lee