West Franklin Family,

Several days ago, I encountered Christmas in March. No, I didn’t open any physical gifts. I had no egg nog. There was no Christmas ham or trying to get Katie under the Mistletoe. Nor was there any football on the television or stockings on the mantle. There wasn’t even a tree. But there was definitely light. Bright. Light. Though the calendar said early March, I felt like I had plugged in a strand of lights the Friday night after Thanksgiving to the amazement of everyone around. It wasn’t a holiday. But for a brief moment – it felt like Christmas.

I was having a conversation with a church member. He had been asked to serve in a specific and particular capacity at our church. When we talked, he had just fulfilled his responsibility. When I asked him how it went – that’s when the “lights” came on. When asked about his task, he literally lit up like a Christmas tree. For the five of us gathered him at that moment, we all witnessed a definitive glow. This young twenty-something said, “I was so excited when I was asked to do this! I couldn’t wait to do it! I had so much fun! I hope I get to do it again very soon. I am so grateful to have been asked. Thank you!” I’m not exaggerating. This is what he said. About serving. At church. This is what he said. About being asked to do something significant. At church. On a Sunday. This young man served in a way that brought a visible glow.

He literally lit up like a Christmas tree.

This got me thinking. On the one hand, I wonder how many of you light up like a Christmas tree at the opportunity to serve in a particular capacity? Are you fulfilling your God-given passion to serve in a way that you actually enjoy? Do you serve somewhere out of guilt, or are you doing what you do out of sheer joy? Are you serving because it’s all you know? Or do you do what you do because you know your heart? Or maybe you have stopped serving because the joy stopped? Or maybe you haven’t been able to because of the stupid virus? What is that thing God has called you to/gifted you with that causes you to glow when asked to do it?

On the other hand, I wonder how many of you aren’t “lit” because you haven’t been asked? If the guy I talked with were never approached, there might have never been a glow. I wonder if our church would become much brighter if we were better about asking others to do things where we see potential? I wonder how often we hang on to responsibilities because we believe the lie that no one can do it better than we can? I wonder if our faces are dull because the shine has worn off? I wonder who is waiting to glow and will immediately light up when the opportunity is presented?

When was the last time you lit up like a Christmas tree?

I’m serious. When? When was the last time you joined the Father in what He led you to do and you just knew it was what you were supposed to be doing with your life? When was the last time you encountered a church member who was glowing as he or she ministered out of their sweet spot? When was the last time you actually were over-joyed about fulfilling a Gospel-led opportunity? Seriously. When? No one is looking. No one can hear you. Be honest. Do you light up like a Christmas tree when a particular chance to make a kingdom impact lands on you? If not, why not? I’m serious. Why not?

Christmas is only one time a year. It usually falls on December 25th. But you can experience the thrill of bright lights all the time. What if people from all over Franklin came on a Sunday and were struck by how we all seem to glow? It’s kind of our calling, isn’t it? Didn’t Jesus say we are like a city on a hill? Doesn’t He, the light of the world, live in us? No one lights a lamp and puts it under a bowl. No sir. They let it shine. When was the last time you lit up like a Christmas tree?

West Franklin, let’s get lit.

Pastor Matt

Lord willing, I will see you in the morning with my Bible open to Luke 18:18-34. And please do not forget to check out our Easter schedule and be sure to RSVP/register!