Wapakoneta. How many of you know of Wapakoneta let alone have traveled to this small town in rural Ohio. Those "Buckeyes" among us may have an idea of where this is heading, but my guess is that most of you can't remember if you've heard of this town before; chances are you have.
I was talking with my mother the other evening and I dropped the name Wapakoneta on her as I told her a story from her past. Mom suffers from Alzheimer's, so I know the importance of stimulating her "back in the old days" memories. In high school, Mom was a cheerleader for the Celina Bulldogs. She loves to share memories about life in Celina, especially her cheerleading days. I had heard on a number of occasions how the gym at Wapakoneta was so small, a cracker jack gym, that the stage for the high school was the out of bounds on one side of the court. Mom would do her cheers and then jump onto the stage to get out of the basketball player's way.
When I mentioned Wapakoneta she laughed. "Nothing good came out of that small town, she proclaimed, "except that one young man." Do you know who she was referring to? Neil Armstrong! That little town in No-Wheresville had a native son who changed the world; "One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind!"
Immediately, my mind turned theological because I had heard a similar proclamation in the Bible about somebody else who changed the world.
Nathanael said to him, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" Philip said to him, "Come and see." -John 1: 46
During Advent we look to the rural country side and worship a child born in a manger, no crib for a bed. We are invited to remember the birth of the Messiah through scripture, songs, and sermons. Could anything good come out of Nazareth? Come and See.
May the coming week be filled with epiphany so that you can see anew how God has changed the world through the life of Jesus of Nazareth.
Prayer for Today
0pen our eyes so that we can see the wonders of His love, born Christ the Lord. Amidst the commercialism of our times, as we wonder how we have traveled so far away from the manger, help us to see his bright star, so that by seeing, our faith will be renewed. Amen.