Bend-A-Knee Weekly Sermon 02/01/2024

Tomorrow is “Groundhog-Day;” the annual weather prognosticating day centering around a groundhog named Phil, from the town of Punxsutawney, Pa. The tradition has its roots from “Candlemas Day,” celebrated on February second. According to European tradition, later including a German twist, when the sun made its appearance on Candlemas Day, a hedgehog would cast its shadow, predicting six more weeks of bad weather. The earliest settlers of Pennsylvania were German thus continuing the tradition.

The popularity of the annual prognosticating groundhog event draws national attention. “Punxsutawney Phil’s” recognition is widespread, due in part to the movie made about the event. Phil’s weather forecasting skill may be debated by many but his staunch supporters, the local dignitaries known as the “Inner Circle,” who wear top hats and conduct the official proceedings in the Pennsylvania Dutch dialect, claim that Phil’s forecasting success rate is extremely accurate.

While I enjoy the annual occurrence, I find it fascinating that a groundhog has such a loyal following…? The same blind loyalty has accompanied certain people throughout history. It is disturbing that people are so easily deceived to follow leaders in such a blind fashion that they ignore blatant hypocrisy, convincing themselves that their supported leader will provide for their wellbeing. History has proven their mistake.

Those who have followed Jesus Christ have been accused of such blind adherence. The exception with Christ is that His teachings, life, death, and resurrection have withstood the most intense scrutiny that has ever followed any person in history. The facts support Jesus’ claims and teachings. The Event, the resurrection, has withstood every attempt to disprove its reality. The Eternal Son, name Jesus has proven to be the only one who is worthy of absolute loyalty.

Today as you consider pausing at noon to Bend-A-Knee in prayer may you celebrate Jesus as the only one deserving your worship. The test for any leader worth following revolves around their true character, unveiled through their word and deed. Do not be deceived, test them, do they exhibit a pattern of behavior that excludes them from being trusted as a leader. Seek God’s wisdom through His Word and the Holy Spirits direction to make sure the one you are following will not lead you off course.

Stay connected to God & to others

God’s Peace,

Pastor Mike

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