…by Kevin McHugh
It sure was great to have John Wasem at the St. John campus to teach this week. When we think about all the positive things this church has accomplished, and all the people who have turned to Jesus, we have to be grateful to John for his leadership and wisdom, and that God led him to St John to start our church. Plus, he always has little known facts to share; for example I did not know that Bethlehem Memorial Hospital was open 2000 years ago or that the innkeeper was connected to the Bethlehem cable TV affiliate – what an advanced society!
OK, back to the message. John taught about what it means to be a seeker and used Mary, Joseph, the wise men, and even King Herod to illustrate what different people are seeking in life. The question posed to us was “What does it take to be a true seeker?” I am reflecting on this question as I also think about what it means to be a Christ follower and John’s five points ring true. I am adding some comments after each of these points, I encourage anyone reading to stop and reflect about your own.
Be Open: Our God is fully active in this world, all the time. Keep your eyes open, avoid distractions, do not count things as “coincidence” when that is not the case.
Be Alert: We are not saved by works but by His Grace, yet He has prepared good works for us to do. Look for opportunities to reflect the grace of God to others.
Be Focused: Keep the commandments, live with integrity, earn the trust of others – when we invite, they will be more likely to say yes.
Be Trusting: John acknowledged that many of us are going through something tough, but then he also reminded us that honest faith will sustain anyone – we should take comfort in that and we should also be inspired by that.
Be Free: That is free from negativity, free from evil, free from distraction.
John gave us some thoughts on putting all of this into action and used the words: stop – look – listen – go.
For me, it all hinges on stop. As a seeker, as a Christ follower, my number one obstacle is all the the things that this world throws at me that end up capturing my attention and often prevent me from noticing where my focus should be. I have learned that when I am able to stop, it is far easier to look, listen, and then go. So during Christmas time, can we all just try to stop for a minute, realize how blessed we are, and then respond in some positive way? Let’s be intentional about it and try our best.
Our Savior is born! – Merry Christmas to you all!