Silence and Stillness before God (2 minutes)
"Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?" Nathanael asked.
"Come and see," said Philip.
Written by Bill Heider
Phil Jones and his kids came over for lunch one day a while ago. The plan was to get the fire pit going for outdoor cooking. So, we went into my garage to get a few things to get started.
One of his daughters (I can’t remember which) slowly looked around with a puzzled look for a few moments. Then she asked, “Dad, why is there so much old stuff in here?”
Ha! It’s true. My house is old, yes. So, I have doorknobs and windows and other hardware that are over a century old. But I wish that were the only reason. The older I get, the older my stuff gets! My garage is filled with tools I’ve acquired since my teens. Some of them are getting quite, let’s face it, old.
I told my sons when they bought their houses, “When you buy tools, buy good ones. Chances are those are the tools you’ll have the rest of your life.”
What amazes me about old garages with a cacophonous collection of old tools is the cool stuff that can come out of them.
My son got married in October. So back in the summer he asked if I would build an arbor for the ceremony. “Of course!” So out of my old garage filled with old stuff came the structure under which my son and daughter-in-law would unite their lives together.
That request serendipitously turned into a side hustle of a wedding rental business for my wife, Kristen. Out of my garage filled with old stuff! In 2020! (You can see other cool stuff that has come out of my garage since then at her website vintagerentalsatfairhill.com).
What’s all this have to do with Advent? BEAUTY can come out of the most unexpected places!
When Jesus began his ministry, Philip (not Phil Jones, another Philip) would look for his brother to tell him what was going on. In John 1:45,46 the conversation goes like this:
Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”
“Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked.
“Come and see,” said Philip.
Beauty and goodness from strange places. It was just as unexpected then as it is today.
Can anything good come from there?
The connection to this year’s challenges are clear. Can anything good come? We are waiting to see. But it’s not just COVID. It’s much bigger. I find that many of us are facing chaotic turmoil individually in the midst of the collective chaos of this year. It’s been garbage on garbage. At least it feels that way.
Can anything good come?
Advent teaches us to come…wait…with curious hope and expectation…and see.
Lord, we look to You for beautiful things, redeemed things brought forth from all of the old stuff, the broken stuff, the stuff we thought was no good. We choose to come to You and see the good!
Conclude with Stillness (2 minutes)