Yesterday Tom and I did not go to church. We had planned on going to church. We found the United Methodist Church closest to where we were staying. It had an 8:30 worship service that meant we would be able to get checked out of our campsite and on the road in good time. The only problem: they canceled church.
In my 30 years of ministry I only canceled church once when there was a hazardous waste spill in the area and we were being evacuated. I probably would have still had church except I was pregnant with John and didn’t want to endanger the baby. I never canceled church because of weather. One way or another I got there, and was ready to welcome anyone who felt similarly compelled.
Yesterday the temperature in Amarillo Texas was 9 degrees and the roads were solid ice. Amarillo only has enough snowplows / salt trucks to keep I-40 clean – they wait for the sun and warmer temps to clear off city streets. ALL the churches in the area canceled church. So no church for us or anyone else in Amarillo.
But we can still worship, even when we aren’t able to go to church. Yesterday was Epiphany, the day we celebrate the coming of the Wise Men to see the infant king. They saw his star and followed it to find a new revelation of God.
God still appears in new ways today, even to frozen hearts and frozen cities. Sometimes we get hard and cold about our faith. We forget what God has done for us, has given us. But when we find the infant king, our hearts are thawed and new life begins to grow. We find that God has not stopped working in our lives but constantly gives us new revelations that melt whatever was frozen in us. Our faces lift and our souls are warmed by the Son.
Isaiah says this, in chapter 43, verses 18 and 19: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”
Help us to seek You, revealed infant king, so that our frozen hearts may be thawed and our frozen lives may be used in your purposes. Do a new thing in the wilderness and wastelands of our lives.