Sunday, October 17, 2004

October 17, 2004

12:37 PM Greg Sanford from New Tribes Mission had the congregation chuckling today when he used me in his closing illustration that went something like this: “It’s Christmas and Pastor Ray wants to surprise Marlene so he gets out the Christmas lights and discovers they are in a big tangled ball. So he tries to straighten them out but he can’t so he just throws the lights on the tree. He’s in a hurry because there is a football game on TV.” Everyone laughed because that’s totally believable. “But soon his wife discovers there are six or eight lights not working, and they are all in the same area. But what’s the big deal? Why should we care if all the lights are burning or not? So Pastor Ray says to his wife, ‘Honey, let’s take the lights down and I’ll fix them for you.’ Once the lights were fixed, Pastor Ray went back to his football game.” All very true, except that Marlene told Greg Sanford that she would be the one who replaced the burned-out lights. That’s true too. She’s got the gift of Christmas decoration. I help put up the tree and also provide color commentary. Greg’s illustration had a powerful point. What’s the difference if some of the lights covering a certain part of the tree are missing? Why not just turn that part of the tree toward the wall? Because we want lights to cover the whole tree evenly. In the same way, God wants the light of his truth shining forth from all parts of the world, including those parts currently in darkness because they are without the gospel. That’s why we send missionaries to the darkened corners of the earth. His message was a great beginning to World Focus Week.

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