Two days after Arielle's birthday some of my much-loved women friends joined me for a Christmas brunch at church. Every year hundreds of women come together to eat rich food, to enjoy beautiful candle-lit table settings and great conversations, and to hear various types of speakers. We never quite know what the speaker will be like, and some are better than others. But the main point of this gathering is to just have a good time with friends and be surrounded by all the trappings of the holiday season. I love it! And men in white shirts serve us! That always makes me smile. Like my friend Helen said, "I can come here and nothing is expected of me." We can just relax and get out of our regular, hectic life routine.
We toured the tables when we arrived, each decorated by a different woman who volunteered to bring in her best china and centerpiece. We talked and ate ham and pastries and fruit. Then we headed down to the sanctuary to hear the speaker. All we knew about her was that she was a 9/11 widow. What a dynamic speaker she was! I wish I could remember all that she said. Her points were so right and true. Her story was by turns tragic and funny, but always honest and deep. We were blessed this morning! Testimony--another sound of this Christmas season. People giving testimony to God's goodness in the face of suffering and loss. I wish I could quote the one phrase she repeated several times. Something about when the whys of life torment us and when the unknowns of the future scare us, we need to remember that what we already know about God is enough to trust him for whatever is to come. This idea keeps coming to mind. I've walked with Jesus a long time. Once I left him, but he took me back. God has revealed himself in incredible ways through the years. I don't have all the answers, but I have enough to know that this verse is true: "the testimony about Christ was confirmed among you--so that you are not lacking in any gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, to whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord." I Corinthians 1.
Did you notice all the times the name of Jesus is proclaimed in that one verse? I didn't notice until I typed it. I give testimony to his name! It is powerful; it is divisive; it is a stumbling block. But... "God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Philippians 2.