Pastor Linda's Message Blog

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Pastor Linda

Connecting - January 2018


Assembly Required

Christmas 2017 was a memorable one for the Stueve family. We had a wonderful Advent season at church. Early in the month, the parent group took Christ to those community folks who do not get out much, by caroling at their doors.

The cantata, the children's musical, and the soup fellowship blessed all in attendance. Our sanctuary was beautifully adorned for the season. Even the first snow of the season making roads slick did not discourage attenders of our 10:45 Christmas Eve morning service and the 7pm candlelight service.

On Christmas Day, I celebrated early with my mother, stepfather, and sister. By mid-afternoon our three sons, their spouses, and our grandchildren gathered for an evening meal and gift exchange. Spirits were high. The house was full of people, dogs, and kids.

In the same way it was unusual for Christmas Eve to fall on a Sunday, it was equally unusual for our family to all be together on Christmas. The last time this occurred we thought must have been 2007 or earlier. This remembering stirred a question by Philip: What was the most memorable Christmas?

All three boys mentioned the year they received the basketball game. This consisted of a hoop inside a freestanding metal cage, surrounded by a net, and a chute to return the ball. You may have seen these games at Chuck E. Cheese.

Warren and I groaned remembering that Christmas. We were up until 4am assembling it, and the kids were up at 5am. We fully underestimated the words ASSEMBLY REQUIRED stamped on the box, and the resulting task of putting this basketball shooter together. Once assembled, it totally dominated the living room. The measurements posted on the box seemed so much larger in real life.

We came away from that experience as wiser parents, in that we never purchased another Christmas Eve project like that again. After a few days, it had to be dissembled, moved to the basement, and reassembled, so we got to do it all over again! Years later, the basketball shooter found a home at Camp Wesley Woods.

I was heartened that the Christmas Warren and I remember with some level of horror was mentioned as most memorable by our children. It makes the effort all those years ago seem worthwhile.

basketball hoop and cage

As we enter 2018, it begs us to consider New Year's resolutions, which usually include improvements in body, mind, spirit, and relationships. We hope to dis-assemble ways of living that have not been healthful and life-giving, as we also try to live into better patterns and better choices.

Maybe you too need a little reassembling. Truth be told, we all come in a package stamped in big bold letters: ASSEMBLY REQUIRED. We have some spiritual pieces missing or lacking. We are works in progress that can only be reassembled by following the directions laid out for us by our creator. We cannot fix ourselves; we need God's help. Church is a good place to hear God's voice and direction.

The New Year is a good time to begin again, and just in case, in all the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, you may have forgotten: the one who assembles us and makes us whole and complete ... his name is Jesus.

Pastor Linda