Day 20: Pastor Tony
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21
Not long ago, during a casual trip up to Asheville, I walked into one of my favorite coffee houses up that way — the French Broad Chocolate Lounge. Now, it isn’t hard for you to guess why it’s my favorite coffee spot up on the mountain because it is also a chocolatier. Of all the wonderful delicacies they make, I love the liquid truffle most of all — it’s a ‘drinking chocolate,’ served in a demitasse cup, and is soooooooo good!
Well, on this particular rainy day in the mountains, I went in there ready for a cup of coffee and a dark or milk chocolate liquid truffle. I couldn’t decide which one because they are both my favorites. That’s a godly way to consider chocolate, don’t you think, because when God looks at each of us he sees us each as he favorite — it’s a mystery for sure but it’s also a great strategy for enjoying a variety of chocolate, even as it was Jesus’ way of dying on the cross for each one of us!
The problem I ran into that day was when I stepped up to order my liquid truffle, mouth already watering with anticipation, the barista said, “Any of these flavors are available…..except dark or milk chocolate.” I was frozen in mid-order at his announcement and forced my eyes down the menu to see what other flavor they might land on.
But, I had driven all around that busy uptown circling the place twice before finally finding a parking spot, totally focused on the ‘hunt for dark September’ chocolate, knowing that milk or dark would always be available. But they weren’t!
So, knowing that a day without chocolate is, well, not a real day, I made another selection from the menu. After all, nobody knows the truffles I’ve seen! Bringing on a new flavor can’t be a bad thing. It was just not what I was expecting.
Not what I had been anticipating.
Not what I was planning to find!
But, when the barista brought me that truffle of caramel and salt drinking chocolate, I savored every sip and and took that demitasse spoon and scraped out every possible drop before I surrender my cup. Yes, that flavor too was soooooooo good!
This evening our church enters into our much anticipated Lay Renewal Weekend. I expect you have been a part of revival meetings before and you may even have certain expectations with which you are already comparing what you’ve heard about Lay Renewal and will continue to make comparisons as the weekend transpires. This weekend may not be anything like what you have ever experienced but if we are open to the Holy Spirit’s direction and inspiration and pull toward the depths of relationship with the Lord, then I believe all the new flavors we will experience this weekend will truly be soooooooo good!
So, plan to come to each session of the weekend but not with preconceived notions of what you want but rather with an openness to the fresh breath the Holy Spirit can provide as he leads us to consider what God has on the menu for our spiritual journey.
And, speaking of coffee houses! In the morning, there will be Coffee Fellowships in twenty-five homes of our church family. Be sure to gather where you have signed up and if you haven’t signed up and don’t know where you can go, call us today, or email me, and we’ll point you in the right direction (or just come on over to our house where Janet and I will be hosting a “coffee” as well).
Thank you for the ways you have already been praying for the weekend. I am praying that it will be our chance to declare with Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles, that what we encounter in this time is another example of God’s ability to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us!
To him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
(For Coffee Fellowship call 7-4-482-3467 OR firstname.lastname@example.org)