For nothing will be impossible for God.
Our parsonage is beautiful. One of the many blessings of serving as a pastor for a United Methodist church is the fact that the local church often provides a parsonage for their pastor and family. I’ll freely admit that I was slightly nervous before arriving in Staunton for the first time because I would have no say about where I was living. Whereas other families can pick and choose a residence based upon their proclivities, I would be stuck with whatever St. John’s provided. However, when I began moving my belongings in, I realized how very fortunate I was.
Providing a parsonage is an incredible act of grace and generosity, one that I try to not take for granted. Whenever I pull into the driveway after a particularly stressful day at the church, I give God thanks for the people of our church community and their willingness to provide such a wonderful gift for my family. I am proud of the parsonage and I look forward to the changing seasons as an opportunity to adorn the house with different holiday elements.
Yesterday afternoon, my wife and I invited everyone from the church community for an open house at the parsonage. Part of our decision was born out of the fact that the parsonage belongs to the church, and we wanted to express our thankfulness for their generosity. (The other part of our decision was born out of the fact that Lindsey talked me into purchasing two Christmas trees this year, and she wanted to show off all of our ornaments.) We worked hard last week to clean and organize everything, prepare an abundance of food, and open our house to those near and dear to us.
At some point during the open house, I was struck by how remarkably blessed we are. In such a short amount of time Lindsey and I have been so welcomed into the local community, and to be surrounded by our church family was a humbling experience. I looked around and saw the people I have prayed with, and for, on a regular basis, I saw the children I have baptized, I saw the individuals I have counseled, and I saw God’s love manifest in the gathered people.
I have known for a long time that I felt called to be a pastor, but I never imagined that it would feel this incredible and graceful. I thought that being part of a loving community to this degree was impossible. But nothing is impossible for God.
The feelings that I experienced yesterday were only possible because of the incredible gift that God gave us in Jesus Christ. Without the impossible possibility of God coming in the form of flesh as a baby in a manger we would not have such a loving community. Without the impossible possibility of God’s unending love and grace, we would not see one another as precious gifts.
In these few remaining days of Advent, I encourage you to look around at the blessings in your life, give thanks to God for the gifts that you have been given, and remember that nothing is impossible for God.