Summer in Texas is harsh and unrelenting.
While our Spring has been relatively mild, we know better than to get our hopes up. By mid-June, if not sooner, the sun will beat down without mercy, temperatures will hit triple digits, and the lush foliage of Spring will become brown and brittle under the blast furnace of Summer. Snowflakes in Summer would be a fantasy, a pipe dream, an outright miracle.
Our world can be harsh and unrelenting.
Tempers flare, hatred burns hot, evil boils over, and unleashed fury wreaks havoc ... at a Manchester, England, pop concert, during a Billings, Montana, congressional race, outside a Balch Springs, Texas, teenagers’ party, on a United or American or Delta Airlines flight. Anywhere from Walmart to Washington, rage is on a rampage as our words beat down without mercy and our actions turn human life brittle and broken. Human hatred has long ago hit triple digits.
Is it too late, too unrealistic. to dream of a cooling off time?
Enter the Snowflake. Nearest I can tell, the word 'snowflake' has become a pejorative term for someone sensitive, caring, compassionate. On the political landscape, it is a label for the liberal. Politics aside, what the world needs now, in this scorching Summer meltdown, is the snowflake.
Physical violence is epidemic. Rape and sexual assault are commonplace from the college campus to the national newsroom. Guns are the new arbiters to settle debates and disagreements. Hate speech spews out its venom in our daily discourse. It is hard to turn on the TV without hearing the 'F' word. Oh, it's bleeped out by censors, but it has become the cheap way for unimaginative comedians to get a snicker or two. Language that should get you expelled from school or kicked off the school bus will get you elected to political office. We've lowered our standards so far that the limbo pole is now six feet under ground. Yes, we are digging our own graves with the shovels of hate.
It is time for the snowflake. The 'mother of all bombs' doesn't work. The bombardment of violence doesn't work. The 'F'bomb doesn't work. Our radiators are boiling over, and it is past time for the snowflake.
How long has it been since a politician has been described as 'gentle'? When is the last time a piece of legislation has been praised for being 'compassionate'? Where in the world are negotiations between enemy nations happening that are 'empathetic'?
That's crazy talk in today's brute-force, raw-power world. It'll never work ... unless you realize the wondrous power of the snowflake. It makes humanity stop for just a second to appreciate the unique, one-of-a-kind pattern in each person, each culture, each race. It brushes softly against our burning cheeks and brings a faint but enduring smile. It whispers ever so quietly its subtle song that is barely heard unless we sing along--together--in a chorus of snowflakes falling gently on our brown and brittle earth.
The world of Rome was harsh and unrelenting. The Empire ruled with an iron fist, by brute force, with a boot on the neck. Into that world crushed by crucifixions, came a Snowflake ... gentle, compassionate, caring, sensitive, empathic. It brushed ever-so-gently against the bruised cheeks and broken hearts of the world. It whispered a song of love ever so softly, that its refrain still echos today in hushed wonder, inviting us to join its eternal melody.
The greatest mystery of all is that the Snowflake can only come by a dream, a fantasy, an outright miracle ... a miracle called Grace. For every time that we trust God's grace over warmongering and fear and the blast furnace of hate, the Snowflake will fall, softly and tenderly, on this scorched earth.
Under this Summer's harsh and unrelenting heat, let's pray for a Snowflake. Let's pray that all the world might be covered with snowflakes ... snowflakes like Jesus.
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8:30am & 11:00am
Fourth of July Fling for Freedom—July 2
No four day weekend this year? Never fear! Our Savior is planning some fireworks of its own to help us celebrate our freedom in Christ. David and Richard are barbequing briskets along with hotdogs and all you have to bring are some sides as we gather under the Bethlehem shade trees after the 11am service (if the weather is moderate and clear, we will also have our 11am worship in the Bethlehem backyard.)
We’ll have plenty of games on hand—lawn games as well as dominos and Texas 42. We’ll set up plenty of chairs but you may wish to bring your own lawn chairs. If the weather is inclement, we’ll transfer our Fourth of July festivities to the gymnasium.
(What’s for the kids? We’ll try to get a bounce house and maybe even a water slide if enough families sign up in the centrum to let us know how many will be on hand.)
The fireworks will continue Sunday evening at 5:30pm with snacks and a rousing discussion of Martin Luther’s understanding of freedom: “On the Freedom of the Christian Man.”
Join us for a July 4th festival you won’t forget and it all happens on Sunday, July 2nd.
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