Devotional: June 4th
Nestled in the bowels of the state of Pennsylvania, Northeast of Pittsburgh, is a quiet little town of some six thousand or so residents. When you enter the town you are greeted by an enormous billboard that describes the town's most famous resident. When you read this billboard you realize that you are in that place where he lives. The name of the town is Punxsutawney. The celebrety of note? None other than Punxsutawney Phil, the groundhog.
Today is Groundhog Day, one of my favorite days. Each year I anxiously await this day to see if Phil is going to come out of his hole and see his shadow. If he sees his shadow we have approximately six more weeks of winter. If he doesn't see his shadow we will have forty-seven more days of winter. Which, if you do the math, is actually longer than six weeks. Spring comes in March 21.
The question of how a nation got to the place where it pins its hopes for an early spring on the habits and eyesight of a rodent is moot. The question of why we continue to do so is much more important considering the age of technology in which we live. The answer is, of course, it's tradition and it's kind of fun. Besides, without the legend and lore who would care where Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania is let alone how to spell it accurately in a devotional column.
Every now and then we do things just for the sheer fun of them. Every now and then we gain a certain exhilaration doing that which makes no sense but is enjoyable and can be perpetuated with a wink. But there are other days which are very serious. Important days which contribute to who and what we are and make a statement of the depth of our commitment and faith to the Christ of Calvary. Those days are Sundays when the saints gather.
However, the day is not the matter of importance. The reason for the day is what carries it. "Now on the first day of the week when the disciples came together to break bread..." Acts 20:7 "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching." Hebrews 10:25 On assembly day, Sunday, we gather to remember the Lord's death and look forward to His coming. Unlike the groundhog, when Jesus appears again there will be no waiting for the good days to come; they come with Him. Hope to see you in church Sunday...somewhere.
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