Friday, December 22, 2006

The Rhinestone Cowboys of Advent

I came home last night; Judi was working. I had to submit information by noon today for this weekend sermons. The sermons have been rolling around in my head; my problem was getting them to paper and putting the services together.

My plan was a night of serious study. I decided to put the TV on as background. I chose a program on Public Television about crossover country hits—hits that were country but became pop hits at the same time. I worked with the background of music playing in my ears. Glen Campbell came on singing Rhinestone Cowboy. I have heard the song many times before but never really listened to the words. For some reason I listened last night. These words caught my attention. I quote: “There’s been a load of comprising, on the road of my arising, but I want to be where the lights are shining on me. Like a Rhinestone Cowboy, out on a horse in star spangled rodeo…I wanna be where light is shining on me.”

Yes, we crave attention but at what price? Did it involve a load of compromising to get into the light? Fame is temporary and fleeting yet many people crave so much attention they will compromise their values to achieve their 15 minutes of fame.

I wondered about Advent and Christmas. Isn’t so much of this season about me? We want to be the one whose Christmas letter is the first to arrive. Effort is put into our Christmas lights so everyone will notice. Of course, the gifts so perfectly chosen so in the presence of extended family, others will swoon at our pluck and creativity.

Yes, we want to be “where the lights are shining on me.” Remember this Advent season, Jesus does not need any light shown on Him. He is the Light, the Light of the World, the Light of the World to bring us out of sin and darkness.

Dear Lord, please forgive us as we Rhinestone Cowboys struggle for our place in the spotlight. Lord, draw us to the “real Light, Jesus Christ, and our desire for human attention will fade away in the fullness of His Light and glory and grace. Come Lord Jesus, come. Amen.

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