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Friday, December 2 Devotional from Pastor John Hartman

December 2, 2022 | by: Rev. John Hartman | 0 comments

Posted in: Children & Family

“Holy Misfits” 

Have you ever felt like a misfit?  Have you ever felt like a misfit for God?  Do you ever feel like a red-nose in a brown-nosed reindeer world? I read that that Americans undergo about 11.5 million cosmetic surgical and non-surgical procedures each year.  Now, I’m not knocking plastic surgery, but here we are the most wealthy and powerful nation in the world, and apparently, most of us still feel like misfits!

 Well, if that describes you, just know that the great story line of the Bible is that God uses misfits.  Think about the fact that Abraham was old.  Jacob was insecure.  Leah was cross-eyed.  Joseph was abused.  Moses stuttered.  Gideon was a wimp.  Samson was a womanizer.  Rahab was a prostitute.  David had an affair and all sorts of family problems.  Jeremiah was depressed.  Elijah was suicidal.  Jonah didn’t know how to swim.  Peter had a hot temper and was basically unreliable.  Martha worried a lot.  The Samaritan woman had several failed marriages.  Zacchaeus was short.  Thomas had doubts.  Paul had bad eyes, Timothy was young, and on it goes. 

The Apostle Paul says in I Corinthians 1:26-31, Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.”  Paul goes on, in that same passage, to talk about himself, a prime example of a “misfit” used by God.   

     When it comes to the Christmas story, I just love God’s response to Mary when she acknowledges her own “misfittedness.”  The only part of the angel Gabriel’ speech that he repeats to Mary is when he says to her, “you are favored.”  He says it right off the bat when he greets Mary.  But, she’s troubled, bewildered, not feeling very much up to the task, probably sure that there’s been some terrible mix up, and that God has the wrong person.  And yet, Gabriel repeats the most important opening line,  “you have found favor with God.”  My friends, the central message of the Christmas story is that the birth of Jesus Christ declares each one US as “highly favored.”

This Sunday, December 4, I continue my Advent sermon series titled, “The Classics of Christmas.”  Throughout the season, we look at those wonderful tv shows and movies that we watched as a child, and that still move our hearts today.  This week, we are looking at that old time favorite, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”  We will also celebrate around the Lord’s Table and  have holy communion.  So, come join us in the sanctuary for worship at Chestnut Level at either 8:00 am or 10:30 am.  We will also broadcast the 10:30 service on Zoom, Facebook Live, and YouTube.   


Quote of the Week

“The Bible tells of flawed people  -- people just like me – who make shockingly bad choices and yet still find themselves pursued by God.”  Philip Yancey   


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