Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Glory to God, Peace on Earth, and Good Will on Display NOW in You and in Me!

This lady's name is Ora Lee. She passed away this past Wednesday (12/10). She has been a member of my church since way before I came here over two decades ago. This is not a good picture of her... it was difficult to get a decent picture as she was camera shy. She was quiet, humble, and an amazing servant of our Lord.

The past week and a half has been filled with an unusually challenging number of situations, including some very serious medical situations among my members. I found it strange that one of the most joyful conversations I had last week was with someone who would pass away just two days later.

As I thought about Ora Lee's funeral service, I couldn't help but be drawn to the classic Biblical passage in Luke 2 where the angels confront a group of extraordinarily surprised shepherds with the great news that a Savior had been born to them (and us) in the town of Bethlehem.

I decided to use this experience in my church newsletter article last week. As you read it, it might be worthwhile to ponder the thought, "could my pastor use my life as an illustration of glory to God, peace on Earth, and good will toward man?" I hope so. If not, there's still time! Here is the article!

Reading About It Is One Thing, Seeing It Happen Is Even Better. You’ve read it again and again, in Luke 2 how the angels sang to the shepherds,
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men!” (Luke 2:14) God made this wonderful truth so vivid to me this past Monday as I visited with Ora Lee Davis in the hospital. It was the first time since she had been sick that I got to visit her alone, so we could really “talk.” My conversation with her that afternoon will always be a treasure to me. When I asked her, how she felt when the doctors told her how “bad” her cancer was, she replied, “You know, I didn’t mind too much.” That is so typical of Ora Lee’s faith. Who else could face cancer squarely in the face and say that? I’ll tell you who…someone who truly takes Christ at His word.

Little did I know that just a few hours later that same day, I would get a call that she was not doing well, and might not make it through the night. Ora Lee was healed Wednesday morning as her Savior, the Great Physician came and took her home to be with Him. In the days leading up to her passing, I had no doubts that she was a woman at complete peace. She had expressed to me and the family several times lately how grateful she has been for her life, and that she was ready to leave whenever the Lord decided it was time.

Tuesday as I pondered Christmas, it hit me that Ora Lee’s simple devotion to Christ reflects the wonder of the angels’ song to the shepherds. Here is a lady whose life has been at peace with God (and others) through Christ. Her life also radiated good will toward anyone in her presence, and brought glory to God. Her life reminds me of one of my favorite Christmas songs:

Let There Be Peace on Earth and let it begin with me.
Let There Be Peace on Earth, the peace that was meant to be!

Ora Lee’s life is an example of how God wants to bless people with our lives! How would people describe your life behind your back? Do you display to others (especially at Christmas) a life at peace, filled with good will, intent on bringing glory to God? A life that reflects these central truths is the best life there is, and I praise God it’s available to me and to you every day because a Baby grew to become our Savior on a cross, and rose from the dead to be our Lord! I know this kind of life works, because I’ve read about it in God’s word, and I’ve seen it in the lives of special people like Ora Lee Davis.

Maybe the best thing you can give Jesus this year for His birthday, is your surrender and willingness to truly follow Him as Lord into a life of peace, good will and glory to God! It can happen! Right now! Maybe then someone will be using you as illustration to others about how great life can be! my wish for each of us is that we can sing this and mean it…Let there be peace on earth and let it start with me! So celebrate Jesus’ birth as you go and give gifts of peace, good will and glory to the Him!<

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