A Year of Smiles – Day 4


New Year’s Eve. 11 o’clock. Time for bed. After all, it was Saturday night which meant we had church in the morning and I needed to get to sleep.

It was a good thought.  My neighbors, however, had other plans.  Just as I drifted off to sleep – Pop! Crack! Boom! – the fireworks began.

I really should have known better. Firstly, it was New Year’s Eve. <Insert forehead slap here.>  Secondly, over the last 10 years, my neighbor’s proclivity for celebrating with fireworks has been well demonstrated. Let’s see.  There’s New Year’s, of course.  The 4th of July – no question about that one. Birthdays – okay, I’ll cut them some slack. Oh, and Thanksgiving. Yes, Thanksgiving, because nothing says, “Happy Thanksgiving” better than bottle rockets buzzing through the treetops.

So, on New Year’s Eve, I didn’t get to sleep as fast as I wanted.  I did have some extra time to think, though, as I lay in bed waiting for the pyrotechnics to end. And what do you suppose was the subject of my thoughts?  Fireworks, of course. What else could I think about during the 30 minute firestorm that was delaying my slumber!

Fireworks are pretty amazing.  These devices are composed of the perfect mixture of gunpowder and chemicals and they have only one purpose – to explode. That’s what we want, right?  We don’t buy fireworks because of the pretty packaging. We don’t purchase these devices to display on a shelf. We buy fireworks for the end result. We want to light those suckers up and send them soaring to the sky to explode in a spectacular display of light and color for all to see.

Explosions of grandeur – makes you think of the Church, doesn’t it?  No? Well, that was the next stop on my New Year’s train of thought.  I lay in the darkness wondering how awesome it would be if the Church had the same impact and draw on this world as a great fireworks display.  Think about it.  We, the Church, have all the right ingredients to rock this slumbering world with explosions of God’s great love, mercy, forgiveness, compassion and grace.  We are made to explode, to go into all the world, to grow the Kingdom, to spread God’s fame throughout the nations.  This is our purpose.

The problem is we’re missing one important ingredient – fire. Before fireworks can burst into sprays of purple and orange lights in the night sky, there first must be an ignition.  The fuse has to be lit.  There has to be fire.  The same goes for the Church.  We cannot be a light in the darkness, if we have no fire.  We cannot make a difference in this world, if we have no passion for the One who died to save this world.

Oh, Church, God did not call us to sit in our beautifully packaged church buildings like fireworks on a shelf.  God called us to go, to burst forth in explosions of grandeur until all the world hears of God’s love.  Imagine the impact we could have on this world if the Church found it’s passion.  What a fireworks display there would be!

Look!  There’s fireworks!  SMILE.

Matthew 28:19 (ESV)  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

1 Peter 2:9 (ESV)  But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.


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