Let It Snow! Wishing You Enduring Joy!

In case you missed it, we had snow this week in Prosper. And it snowed in my hometown of Bay City last night. Everyone, here and there, including me, was so excited. Snow in Texas is almost as exciting as landing on the moon or discovering a great medical breakthrough. It is an event. At the dentist's office the other day, a woman from New Hampshire came in. The office staff was still going nuts about the snow. The woman was not so impressed.

I've had several conversations recently about the relationship between God and weather. Last week on Thanksgiving Day I was out delivering meals to the elderly with my home church. When I returned to home base, someone said, "We sure had great weather today! God is good!" I replied: "God is good, rain or shine, don't you think?" When snow fell this week, people praised God and enjoyed the beauty of the creation. And rightfully so. Then an unfortunate thing happened: the snow melted.

Now we had a decision to make. We could crawl back into our caves of ordinariness and joylessness. Or we could remember that joy is a blessing of the Christmas season, and if it takes a brief snowfall to remind us of that fine-- but don't surrender the joy when the snow melts! Jesus said, "No one will take your joy from you" (John 16:22), but we are very capable of losing it on our own, like our car keys or the remote control.

Jesus told a story of a sower who sowed seeds. He would scatter the seed and move on, leaving the seeds to take root or not. Some seeds landed on the road and were eaten by birds. Other seed landed in shallow ground, grew up quickly, but were scorched by the sun (hello, real Texas weather!) because they had no roots. Other seed found good ground and grew into healthy, strong plants. The story is a metaphor of how we hear-- and respond-- to the gospel. Are you allowing the message of Jesus to take root in you this Advent and Christmas so you can grow into faithful-- and fruitful-- disciples? Or will the seeds of the gospel not find good soil in your heart this year?

Snow = excitement in Texas. It is a big thing for all of us. But once the snow melts away, often our excitement does too. That's the thing about being excited-- it is fleeting. And if our experience of Jesus is based only on excitement and doesn't translate into faith quickly, it melts away too. Let's all use these next three weeks before Christmas to experience the enduring joy of the gospel-- good news that never fades away!

And in the meantime, if God can send another round of snowfall, we'll be grateful!