Tuesday, December 18, 2012
The tragic events that occurred in Connecticut last week have again shaken the people of this nation in the deepest of places. In a season where we hold to peace on earth and goodwill to men, a season in which we seek to believe the best in our fellow man, we are reminded that at times what we get is the worst of man. There is no way to make sense of the tragic killing of innocent children. We clamor for answers to questions we can never know. We want to know the "why" of the events, both in the mentality of the killer but it seems more so in why God would allow this incident to take place. I have heard over the last several days the lamenting questions... where was God? Why did God allow this to happen?
God was there. Brokenhearted. Receiving His children. Lamenting the death of the wicked. Here is reality... sin is alive and well in the world we live. Evil is very real and incidents like this remind us of the destructive nature of sin in man. Sadly, the death of these innocent children and loving adults were not the only such deaths that day. Martovia Lang, a Memphis Police officer, was gunned down that same morning as she served an arrest warrant. Her partner was critically wounded in the shooting. She would leave behind 4 children who will never make sense of the loss of their mother. We struggle with these deaths more so in this season because it is Christmas. This is meant to be a season of joy and happiness.
However, these incidents, as well as the many other senseless actions that take place on a daily basis, remind us all the more why Christmas was necessary. Christmas means more than a baby in a manger. This baby, born of a virgin, was the Son of God, who would take on flesh and dwell among us. He would live in perfect obedience to the Father and would willingly die a cruel and humiliating death for the sinfulness of man. The death of Jesus is truly the ultimate picture of the death of the innocent. He would willingly lay down His life to pay the penalty for the sinfulness of man. And He would come back from the grave on the third day conquering not only death but sin in man. Christmas reminds us of the greatest gift... salvation for the lost.
That is pleasant and palatable when we consider the lost children and teachers in Newtown, Connecticut. It is understandable and reasonable when we think of Martovia Lang who was serving the needs of man. What is unfathomable for us is that same love and salvation was offered to Adam Lanza. Jesus died for Him too. And as the heart of God broke for the beautiful children and adults killed by his hand, so too, did God's heart break in the death of Adam Lanza. For as we read in Ezekiel 18, God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked but rather that they turn from their wicked ways and live. The bible teaches us that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. We are told that the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus. We read that God demonstrated His love for us in this... while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. That includes the wicked. That includes the depraved. That includes you and me.
So while we may never make sense of the senseless, there yet remains hope that springs eternal in Jesus Christ. Jesus has warned us that the days will remain evil. Our hope is this… he has conquered sin. Today is a day that remains joyful because of that reason alone. Our hearts will long ache for the tragedy of Newtown. This will not be the last time our hearts break for senselessness and evil. So today, we cling to Christ. Today, we profess His truth to those in need. Today, we are called to bind up the brokenhearted, proclaim liberty to the captives, to share the oil of gladness instead of mourning found in the good news of Jesus Christ.
Monday, November 26, 2012
As I traveled back from California this week, I was blessed to meet Lena. Our encounter would be no more than 15 minutes. Yet in that short time, I would learn much. I greeted her as I stood in front of her as we lined up to enter the plane. She told me she was going to visit family and in that moment, I felt she was inviting me into her story. I would learn that this would be her first trip by herself. Her husband recently passed away after what was a lifetime of marriage and he had always taken care of all the details when they traveled. She was healing from her own ailments and now she found that she was fearful over so many things ranging from relationships with her children and grandchildren, to how to put the bag she carried in the bin above the seats. She shared of a disappointment that had strained her relationship with her daughter and her fear of what their relationship would be like over the holidays. She touched on the anxiety of knowing she was in her last stages of life and how desperately she wanted to know her grandkids, and how she worried of what legacy she would leave behind. I told her that I could handle the bag in the bin and I knew of a great God who could help her with the rest. And in just the minute or so we had left, assured her that God knew her and cared deeply for her. She was very grateful for the help with the bag and said she has contemplated much about what she believed about God and heaven and the meaning of life in these days of turmoil. And with that, she chose a seat by a familiar face to her and outside of getting her bag down and wishing her well, our interaction ceased.
Sunday, as we studied the account of the prodigal son, we looked at it from the place of brokenness. And part of what I learned afresh from Lena was this… we live around people who are broken but who hide it well, masking that truth deep in their hearts. Had I not said hi and Lena not opened up, I would have believed her to be a woman who was used to traveling and seemed happy with life. She was pleasant and smiling and seemed to have it together. But then I entered her story, as my dear friends Dave and Cathy often say, and I was blessed to get beyond the surface and found a woman fearful and broken. Brokenness comes in different forms and out of different experiences. Some brokenness is self inflicted as we saw in the prodigal son where other times it is simply the result of living in a fallen world. God saw our brokenness and He entered in. That is the joy of Christmas. I have been reminded that He is calling me to do the same… to enter into the brokenness and share of truth and life and hope and joy.
This season is filled with such joyous sights and sounds that we miss the broken and hurting and declare them to be Scrooges in a season meant for happiness. My righteous indignation at their hardness and pain is a dismissal of a deeper reality that exists at a heart level. They are broken. They are hurting. They are lost. What a privilege God has given us to enter in their brokenness and share with them that a healer exists to bind up the broken hearts and bestow the oil of gladness instead of sorrow. That is what Christmas is all about. Not the shopping nor the great sales. Not the family meal and the abundant presents. Christmas is the story of God entering into the world to meet us where we are… broken, fallen and hurting. The question remains then for each of us… Will you enter in?
Monday, October 15, 2012
Driscoll Baptist Church is proud to announce that the Lord has enabled us to begin an AWANA Program. We currently have the resources to serve Sparks and T&T, but hope we will be able to add additional programs as time goes on.
With games, prizes, friendly competition and a healthy dose of Scripture memory and Bible verses, it's everything kids love, and we would love to see your child there. There is NO CHARGE for your first book and tee shirt, so if you know a child in Kindergarten - 6th grade who might be interested, we would love to have them be a part of our program.
It's on Wednesday evenings from 6:30 - 8:00 pm.
For more information, please contact the church office at 328-3394.
AWANA = Approved Workmen Are Not Ashamed
Thursday, May 3, 2012
Join with us this summer as we "fly" through the 7 Natural Wonders of the world, including Victoria Falls, the Northern Lights, Paricutin Volcano, the Great Barrier Reef, the Grand Canyon and the Matterhorn.
August 6th - 10th
9am - 12:45pm
For students having completed Kindergarten through 6th grade.
The cost is free, so hop aboard.......
For more information about VBS 2012, please contact the church office at (509) 328-3394.
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Join with us this weekend as we commemorate Christ's death, burial, and resurrection.
Good Friday Service: Friday 4/6/12 at 7:00pm
Easter Service: Sunday 4/8/12 at 11:00am
And he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him." Mark 16:6