a smile.

“Do not love the world or anything in the world.  If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.  For everything in the world; the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, comes not from the Father but from the world.  The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.” 1 John 2:15-17

It’s December and I spent time yesterday wrapping Christmas presents that will bring warm smiles to my daughters faces as they inspect how I wrapped them this year; I’m a notoriously bad wrapper.  The year that still holds the honor of most memorable was the year that I wrapped everything with newspaper and duct tape; a work of art!  They never have to ask who the gift is from when opening presents.  I cropped the attached photo of the girl from Cap Haitian as she too just received a gift, and she didn’t have to guess who it was from and perhaps her smile gives that away.  The gift you can’t see is a bowl of beans and rice and it is from a Trinity/HOPE donor who asked their Heavenly Father to use them in ways to share the love of His Son Jesus with this world; her gift is from God who loves her.  We should not fall in love with the things of this world but seek how to use these gifts to serve others in a manner as Jesus first served us.  I am closing today with the words from the hymn ‘What is the world to me’ that were written by Georg M. Pfefferkorn in 1667.

“What is the world to me with all its vaunted pleasure?  When Thou, and Thou alone, Lord Jesus, art my Treasure!  Thou only, dearest Lord, my soul's Delight shalt be; Thou art my Peace, my Rest, what is the world to me!  The world is like a cloud and like a vapor fleeting. A shadow that declines, swift to its end retreating.  My Jesus doth abide, though all things fade and flee; my everlasting Rock, what is the world to me!  The world seeks to be praised and honored by the mighty, yet never once reflects that they are frail and flighty.  But what I truly prize above all things is He, my Jesus, He alone, what is the world to me!  The world seeks after wealth and all that Mammon offers, yet never is content though gold should fill it coffers.  I have a higher good, content with it I'll be: my Jesus is my Wealth, what is the world to me!  The world is sorely grieved whenever it is slighted or when its hollow fame and honor have been blighted.  Christ, Thy reproach I bear long as it pleaseth Thee; I'm honored by my Lord, what is the world to me!  The world with wanton pride exalts its sinful pleasures and for them foolishly gives up the heavenly treasures.  Let others love the world with all its vanity; I love the Lord, my God, what is the world to me!  The world abideth not; lo, like a flash 'twill vanish; with all it gorgeous pomp pale death it cannot banish; its riches pass away, and all its joys must flee; but Jesus doth abide, what is the world to me!  What is the world to me!  My Jesus is my Treasure, my Life, my Health, my Wealth, my Friend, my Love, my Pleasure, mMy Joy, my Crown, my All, my Bliss eternally.
Once more, then, I declare: what is the world to me!”

Dear Heavenly Father, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown.  Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.  Amen. 

May God be with you…Jay