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St. Paul Lutheran Church, Runge: The Greatest Christmas Gift - His Son
Dec 27, 2012 | 792 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Pastor Randal Bruno wrote this message for the December newsletter of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Runge. We invite each of you to services on Sunday mornings at 8:30 a.m.

And he said to them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. (Luke 10:2 ESV)

For some reason it always seems to happen to me. When my wife and I go into one grocery store or another it is inevitable, even when there is a multitude to select from, that I manage to grab the one cart with bad wheels. It takes only a few steps with the cart for me to feel and hear its poor condition. I never try to take it back or exchange it. I just live with it, for it seems to be my fate. I must just be the "lucky" one. I know that all other carts are not the same because most other people are walking around with relatively well functioning, quiet ones. Mine though is usually the one you can hear from the other side of the store. It squeaks, rattles, knocks, clatters, shakes, and generally unnerves those near me in fear that I might try to switch it with theirs. My carts should have been retired a long time ago but the store truly wants to get its money's worth. I have a name for these particular carts that are so attracted to me; I call them "woggety-boogety carts". One thing is for sure, you can tell where I am in the store; I am difficult to lose.

As you probably can guess, due to my poor decision in carts, I tend to attract a lot of unwanted attention in the store. Some people pass by with a look of sympathy; they are the ones who must every great once in a while share my fate. Others produce a half-smile on their face; but I just know that secretly they are laughing once I pass on by. Others give me a look of disdain; probably pitying me for being such a poor judge of finer grocery store equipment. Every now and then I consider snatching up one of the abandoned carts sometimes found in the aisles of the store and shifting all my things over. But I am afraid that the management is in on this and I don't want to hear my name called out over the PA system shaming me to go back and claim my originally issued cart.--Fate is a funny thing.

I sometimes wonder, if something as simple as a grocery cart can claim so much attention, why does God remain so quiet? Think about it. God really desires our attention. So why doesn't God just squeak, rattle, knock, clatter, shake, and generally unnerve us once in a while? That would get our attention. I think that it might be better if God were louder and then perhaps we would not be so prone to forget He is around. Instead God is most often content to stay somewhat in the background and rely on gently calling our name to get us to take notice. And although that seems to work too, for there are many followers of God, many others just might need to hear more about Him.

Yet God seems content with calling attention to Himself through His creation and His acts of grace--like the Christmas gift of His Son. And indeed, those appear to suffice. Perhaps it is not God who needs to draw more attention to Him. Perhaps we need to. Perhaps God is really more like the store owner and He is relying on His followers to be more like His "woggety-boogety" carts to the world. Perhaps we should consider squeaking, rattling, knocking, clattering, shaking, and generally unnerving those near enough to hear about God's acts of creation and grace. Sure some may give us looks of half-smiles, disdain, or pity, but they are most often the ones who have the greatest need of hearing about God. For it is through God's acts of creation and grace that we come to know the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. And it is through those acts that we come to have salvation.

The apostles were good at this; they were always looking to be vocal to anyone about the risen savior. There was no shame involved, little hesitation, they spent very few moments contemplating silence; they met others with care, compassion, and a deep desire to tell them about knowing and truly realizing forgiveness through God's gift of His Son. The Apostles did not want to keep God for themselves, they wanted to share Him. They did not do this for themselves; they did it for whomever they met. They knew nothing about "woggety-boogety" carts, but they knew a lot about being a "woggety-boogety" Christian.--And something tells me that when they finally went through the checkout lane, there were a lot of words of thanks from the owner.

Peace, Pastor Randy

"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age." (Matthew 28:19,20 ESV)
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