Those Giant Balloons
It has nearly reached the ripe old age of 70. For the last 69 years, Thanksgiving has been marked by a parade in New York city sponsored by Macy's Department Store. It origin was a marketing strategy to kickoff the Christmas Shopping season and draw attention to the "world's largest department store." For me the biggest attraction to Macy's Thanksgiving Parade (no its not Willard Scott) is the giant balloons. You know those huge bags of helium shaped to resemble cartoon characters and floating between the buildings of the Big Apple. You have to be impressed with a building sized Bulwinkle Moose or a multi-storied Snoopy. So on the morning of Nov. 28th you will likely join me in flipping on the tube and watch The Pink Panther and Kermit the Frog drift by. But as you watch, spend a little time looking down as well as up. You will see that every giant balloon is restrained by 30 to 40 persons all tightly holding on to a line to keep the thing from floating over the East River and disappearing over the Atlantic horizon. The simple physics is that helium is lighter than air and if left to itself all giant balloons will float away.
The simple truth about humans is that left to themselves they will drift away into all manner of harmful things. Isaiah expressed it this way, "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way;" (Isa 53:6). What we need is a number of lines to hold us firmly within the realm of safety, both spiritually and physically. The first line is that of salvation. Isaiah concludes the above quoted verse by saying "and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all." If you haven't tied your life to God through faith in Jesus Christ make that move now. Secondly we need to be firmly moored to a local church. This is done by publicly professing faith through Baptism and by formally joining a church. In addition to offering a testimony to all that you have identified with Christ it also open to you all the opportunities to have your voice heard and to fully participate in all church activities. Be assured that I would enjoy the opportunity to speak with you personally about any of the above.
The previous two "lines" are for those outside the fellowship or membership of a local church. But there are some lines that those who are on the inside must make sure are secure. A third step is to maintain active participation in all that a local church offers in order to accelerate your growth in the Lord. By this I mean attending all the teaching and worship services of the church. Just as we need to eat regularly to be physically nourished we need to feed on the Word of God to be spiritually nourished. Another step is to get active in serving in your church. By this is meant that you find a ministry within the local church that you are participating in. We at Calvary Baptist have purposely designed a ministry program that allows all to have a place of ministry. In these areas I would love to speak with you about the opportunities that exist.
All of the above serve as anchoring lines to keep us from drift. So as you enjoy the balloons on Thanksgiving take a look at yourself and see if you are firmly secured where you need to be.
Pastor, Calvary Baptist Church
©1997 Calvary Baptist Church
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