Central Baptist Church of Westerly
16 Elm Street, Westerly, RI   02891
Phone: (401) 596-4929   

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God’s Love Finds a Home

                                                  
   December 20, 2017
Dear Friends,

I can only imagine what she was thinking.  She went out the basement
door to do her business.  When she came back the door was closed.  
She probably thought, "That's never happened before. Where did my
father go?"  She may have barked, "Let me in. I'm here."

Our six year old Golden Retriever, Anna, may have waited a few minutes.  
Then she probably sat down thinking, "He'll be back."  Of course after
ten minutes it may have occurred to her that sometimes her dad came
out the door on the front side of the house.

Bounding up the side yard, she probably came around the corner of the
house excited at the prospect of being let in again.  I am sad to say that
I let her down.  I had become distracted.  I was running from place to
place.  I had forgotten her and was on the road to my next stop.

Disappointed, feeling lost and abandoned she probably set off to find me.  
A short time later Anna was discovered wandering down the street.  The
animal control officer was alerted and he safely escorted her to our
Animal Shelter in town where she spent the night.

I am embarrassed to tell this story.  Yet it struck me that Anna's story is
one that many of us have experienced at some point.  One day we turn
around and find that a door has closed.  We feel our Father, God, has
abandoned us.  We are lost, out in the cold and afraid.

Years ago I had a friend who was battling cancer.  He always had a strong
faith. Then one day he told me that he felt God had abandoned him.  He
was so sick and not getting better.  He prayed but he could not feel God's
presence.  He said he felt so alone.  I wanted to cry.

Life can be difficult.  So many people are facing challenges . For some,
Christmas only adds to the pain.  Everyone is so happy . Yet, they feel
lost and forgotten.  If this is you then I want to tell you the rest of
Anna's story.  Despite how it looked, I never stopped loving Anna.

I went wild that night trying to find her.  I went house to house, knocking
on doors, looking for her.  I made phone calls and finally learned that
she had been found and was safe for the night.  In the morning I raced
down to pick her up and I promised I'd never leave her again.

That, my friends, is the story of Christmas.  God sees our pain.  He feels
our loneliness.  In that manger in Bethlehem he made a statement that
said, "I love you.  I will be with you.  I will walk with you and no matter
what may come.  I will never leave you or abandon you."

That's why the angels sang and shepherds rejoiced.  That's why the magi
came.  This was the good news of great joy.  So if you are feeling a little
lost right now, hold on.  Anna wants you to know that our Father has
not forgotten you.  He will find you and make his joy, your joy.

Merry Christmas!  See you in church.  
Cal
Pastor Cal Lord's Weekly Epistle
Pastor Cal's Weekly
Epistle

Every week Pastor Cal
writes a weekly column for
the Spirit Page of the
Norwich Bulletin.

He also sends it out to
members and friends of
the church via e-mail.

E-mail him at
calstigers@gmail.com if
you want to be added to
the weekly list.
Pastor Cal's
Archived Epistles