aware and letting the difference be known…
Before services started this evening I printed out two of my recent blog entries, know the difference and Salome (whose name means peace) and gave them to the pastor. I never know what he thinks when he reads these things, if he reads them. I just told him since we were on the same verse, I should let him know. He opened services and turned it over to the visitor who is the relative of a church member and the family has just suffered a loss; final arrangements for their loved one was not yet set at the time this evening’s church service commenced. I was struck that he was a powerful speaker and he got my attention with a phrase he repeated a number of times…the difference.
Our guest pastor wanted to tell of the story in Daniel 3, probably because his own family had a trial to endure in their loss.
Because they would not bow to Nebuchadnezzar’s gods or golden image, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego were to be bound and tossed into the fire. They were sure that whatever happened God would be there for them, as written in Daniel 3:17 , “If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king.” They also let him know, even if that were not the case, they still wouldn’t bow down to the gold image. The three men were thrown into the furnace…yet four men were seen loose walking in the midst of the fire, unhurt. The form of the fourth was [like] the Son of God.
He repeated many times that our God is “able”. Yes, He is able. He said “it makes the difference”, “it is the difference”, and “the difference is His presence”. Yes, there is a difference, and when you know the difference you use it to face certain challenges. God doesn’t mind us “using” Him to feel the difference, make a difference, know the difference or use the difference. He IS the difference.
My neighbor, Norma, called me about 45 minutes before church to let me know someone had cleared her steps for her (another neighbor across the street from her). I asked her to call to let me know if she planned to go to evening service, since the sidewalk was a sheet of ice earlier. I planned to shovel if she needed it. I was happy the sidewalk in front of my house cleared itself so I could step out without slipping, and saved me from shoveling, but rest of the sidewalks were snow-covered all the way to church.
Before services she gave me her “final newspaper”, in case I wanted to pass it along. I asked her how long she had had it, and she said since the 70’s. She wanted me to take it home for “someone else” to read, God love her. I told her I would make a copy in case others wanted one. I do know a few people who may be interested at what a final newspaper might look like:
…some folks might appreciate that kinda’ news more than others.