It's February 6; Good Morning Union

“The Lord your God is with you. He is mighty to save.”    Zephaniah 3:17

Today begins Music Festival weekend on our campus. With hundreds of guests here to make joyful music to and for God we have not only the opportunity to be blessed by their talent, but to get to know our future family members! Remember, YOU are our best recruiters so anything you can do to make our guests feel welcome and valued at Union College will be greatly appreciated.

How “coincidental” (which is a concept I actually don’t believe in!) that one of my plans for this year and my personal spiritual journey is to systematically go through the Bible, one book a day, and look for a new thought, idea, or blessing from that book. Yesterday was the 36th day of the year and the 36th book of the Bible is Zephaniah. So yesterday I was reading in this rather obscure book and I found this text that I knew I wanted to write about today, especially as I read the last phrase!

It starts with, “The Lord is with you, He is mighty to save.” It was written when Josiah was king of Judah in the 7th century BC. His name literally means, “Yahweh has treasured.” (that was the beginning of my ah ha for the day! Treasured what? My first response to that inner question was, treasured His people, which for today includes ME! And I confirmed the potential accuracy of my response with the three-fold promise of my text:

1.            “He will take great delight in you”- not just “delight,” but “GREAT delight,” in me- and in you!

2.            “He will quiet you with His love”- my picture is of a father’s strong arms encircling me

And the one I like the best—

3.            “He will rejoice over you with singing!” How appropriate for Music Fest weekend (and I didn’t even plan it this way! J “Coincidence? I don’t happen to think so!)

So the whole picture looks something like this. I am in God’s presence because He brought me from tough times and drew me into the safety of His presence. He is VERY happy to have me with Him and His strong arms surround me with security and comfort. And then--- He starts singing about the joy He finds in me allowing Him to love me like He wants to.

When we have our grandchildren over for an evening and we put them to bed, first my wife reads to them and then I sing to them. I always start with a song that I made up when our first granddaughter was born. It’s not for anyone else’s ears but theirs and it tells them how special they are to me and how much I love them. When I start singing it and they snuggle in beside me and I wrap my arms around them this verse comes to mind. THIS is exactly what God wants to do for me. I am NOT looking forward to the day when they are “too old” for me to continue my grandpa love song illustration. I’ll try not to embarrass them when they get “too old,” but in the mean time I get to decide that I never want to get too old to allow God to do the same thing for me that I do for my grandchildren. In a crazy and stressed out world I hope I never forget where to return to for my security and safety. I never want to get “too old” to come to Jesus.

Have a great day letting God sing and rejoice over you,

Pastor Rich

Quote for the day: “The idea that all men are created equal loses everything if you believe that men were not created.”

PSJammin’ for Jesus” Will not meet for the next two weeks, but will start again the Thursday after spring break, February 20.