I Am Known
December 12

Over the weekend I turned 40. Now many dread getting older, entering another decade, or the ribbing they will get from their friends for being over the hill; but for me, this weekend was an absolute blast. Not only did Gina and I get away for two nights (something we seldom do with three busy kids), and the church threw a surprise birthday party (which I've never had and was an incredible act of love, kindness and generosity), but the icing on the cake was the avalanche of gifts I received from my coworkers on Monday morning. What made those gifts so special wasn't the fact that there were 40 (!!!) of them, or the value of the gifts or where they came from, but what made them so special was the thought that went into them. They were the perfect gifts! From the boxes of my favorite candy to the numerous bags of my favorite flavored sunflower seeds, the stocking cap for my follicle-y challenged head, the stuff from and about Oregon and the West Coast (2 bottles of Pinot Noir, a lighthouse calendar, and a coffee table book about Oregon), some mini-bottles of my favorite bourbon, the Seinfeld trivia calendar, the gift cards to my favorite places, the memorabilia of my favorite sports teams, another coffee table book about baseball, and 40 Q-Tips! Monday was so great because I felt known. I have history with these folks, they know me and I know them, and turning 40 was just a chance to celebrate that. It was great.

I believe we all have a desire to be known. The folks that we share our lives with who know what our favorite sandwich is or how we take our coffee. They know our favorite movies and songs. They can tell our favorite stories as well as we can and they know how to pick out that perfect gift, not because it's fancy or expensive, but because it fits who we are. 

Do we know that we have that same connection with God?  

I love those Bible verses that talk about how God knows what we need even before we say it, or that God knows what's behind that deep sigh that just left our souls. The verses that talk about how God knew us before we were born or that God knows how many hairs are on our heads! (I've been making that one easier for God for about 15 years now.) God knows our highest highs and our lowest lows. God knows our fears and what makes us come alive. We are known. As we get closer to Christmas, we get a better understanding of how we are known by God. We don't have a God who is distant, sitting on some throne floating on a cloud far from us, we have a God who was born into our world in the humblest of circumstances. We have a God who walked the same earth that we walk and endured the same struggles that we encounter. And even when Jesus left, he didn't leave us orphaned, but sent this mystical thing called the Holy Spirit that is always with us. We are known. 

In the frantic pace of this month and the inevitable feeling of being overwhelmed, don't forget that you are known. Even more so than that perfect gift, you are known and loved by God, and I there isn't a better feeling in the world.

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Chris
Last Published: December 18, 2018 11:42 AM