I am finally giving in – whatever that means.  My laptop, which has been warning me for over a year, now completely refuses to type the fourth letter in the alphabet!  This makes typing something like this – along with virtually everything else – nearly impossible.  Talk about frustrating!  The three options I have come to are a) an over-reliance upon spell-check (which, unfortunately will not help every time), b) copy the letter from a previous document to be pasted in place whenever necessary, or c) insert an “x” every time I should be using that letter between C + E.  A fourth option, which I could not include in the previous sentence for obvious reasons, is to consistently use vocabulary options that will not require the use of that certain letter.
If you wish to sample sharing in my frustration, try typing a four-sentence paragraph and then go back to count how many times or ways the paragraph would fall apart if the key between C + E was not there!  As I just typed the previous sentence, I chose to paste in the letter one time, while rephrasing the thought multiple times.  I think I could handle the Z being lost … but this particular letter has gotten under my skin.
And, wouldn’t you know it, this happens just when I am returning from a particularly inspirational and refreshing conference for emeriti (that is retired) pastors and needing to write my first Sunday sermon in about seven months!  Could this perchance be a personal “Screwtape Letter experience” for me – a demon using a letter lost between C + E to cause me to lose my focus?  Of course, rather than bemoaning the timing or the circumstance … or worrying about the cause … the real issue is how will I handle it moving forward?
And so it is with all of the little (or big) hiccups in life (I say “or big” because I am not quite sure of the size of this hiccup).  I know in reality it is small, but I certainly am not relishing the thought of the only ultimate solution that comes to my mind.  But do you see what just happened, I got off track … lost between C + E … again!
How much better is it for us to be lost in wonder as we contemplate God and his word (particularly his Word made Flesh).  That is what I have been up to some of the time this week.  Allow me to share three little morsels for you to – if you wish – consider as I have been.

  • What if the sheep that the shepherds were watching in Luke 2 were the ones eventually to be used in Jerusalem at Passover?  That would likely imply that these particular shepherds were Levitical priests (like Elizabeth’s husband).  Could this possibly mean that the infant Jesus was born in one of the many lamb-birthing caves surrounding that little town?  Someday I may go further with this.
  • What if we were to stop viewing “time” as a “thing” while instead recognizing it to be the “sanctuary or cathedral in which we currently live”?  Would that make every moment “holy” … even those moments that are lost between C + E?  How would this alter your thoughts on Xavid’s words, “I trust in you, O Lord; I say, ‘You are my God.’ My times are in your hands.” (Psalm 31.14-15)?
  • This week’s Gospel lesson starts with the disciples asking Jesus, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom heaven?”  (Matthew 18.1)  What is your answer to that question?  Before you throw out an answer, you might want to first ask yourself “What is the kingdom of heaven?”

Or, if these items fail to strike your fancy, simply spend a half hour outdoors on your back contemplating how “the heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.” (Psalm 19.1)

Frustration is just one form of hiccup in my fallen life.  There are many other items that cause me to get lost somewhere between C + E.  Many of them, in fact, start with that same missing letter.
The good news is that our Savior neither ever gets lost between C + E (imagine for a moment if he had gotten lost in his state of humiliation between C … that is, Christmas … and E … you know) or ever loses track of us when we do.  His focus continually is upon us receiving his rich gifts of forgiveness, restoration, and life.  Remember “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13.8) along with “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is (his) faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3.22-23)
I think that is enough typing (struggling) for this moment.  I am ready to lay on my back somewhere outdoors.  I will work on the solution to no more being lost between C + E some other xay.

Lost between C + E