I was once sitting with a man who was 101. A really neat guy that had some really incredible stories. It’s been a while and this man has gone on to glory. This man worked for the highway commission of an upper midwest state. Now I’m sorry to say most of his stories, I’ve lost, but there’s one that I absolutely loved and I’d like to share with you today.
It was about 50 or 60 years ago and lake effect snow was pouring down from Lake Michigan. It came down for days. Feet of snow fell and roads and towns were shut down to dig out. The town where the man lived send out the first snowplow to try to get some roads open again. The snowplow got out of the garage. It got a couple of blocks away and out to a main state highway. Then the plow truck just gradually slowed to a halt. The snow was too heavy and too deep for even the snow plow to clear out. Now how in the world would the highway department ever be able to reopen the town and get everyone back to work and back to school?
In our First lesson today from the book of Acts, Peter is being criticized by some of the very first Christians for associating with some other groups of early Christians. Basically the Jewish converts to Christianity could not get along and both wanted to assert that they were the superior Christians.
Now Peter had been taught repeatedly by Jesus and he had seen with his own eyes, just how tough life would be especially as a Christian. Peter knew that Jesus intended for the church to be a community and work together. A Christian is not meant to simply go through life on their own without other Christian support. The Christian faith makes us family and makes us one with each other and with Jesus.
In life we never know what the next day will bring. In this life as soon as we wake up, the devil and our sinful nature are working as hard as they can to get us stuck in the snow. All too often we wake up in the morning and think, “Why bother? I should go back to bed.” Head for the bathroom, look in the mirror and think, “What happened here? How could anyone love me?” Make some mistakes during the day and there we go again in our thoughts, “I will never measure up. No one should care about me. I am not good enough” Every time this happens, the snow continues to fall, until we’re stuck in place trying to take on the world on our own.
Or how about those times we are just like the early Christians of our text thinking just how much we deserve to be in the Christian family more than another person. We push others away and the struggles continue.
Now when that snowplow got stuck, the driver and the highway team did not give up. No way. A second driver and a second snowplow went out to the same spot and came up behind the first snowplow and together one pushing the other, they plowed the highway and got the city back open again.
Now when we are stuck in our thoughts, in our sin, in the broken parts of our lives, at our lowest points, Jesus shines the brightest. He works through our Christian friends and neighbors that remind us that we are forgiven and loved. He works through our churches to serve us with baptism and communion where our sins are forgiven and our faith is strengthened. He works through his word that we read in the Bible and hear in our homes and in our churches that reminds us that we can never fully understand just how loved we are as Jesus who gave his life to give us heaven.