March 18, 2011

Whose Business?

The year was 1964.  My family was on a long road trip to Illinois to visit relatives.  I was nine and my younger brother David was seven.  We stopped on the old Route 66 somewhere in Indiana, to refuel and use the facilities.  We all got back in the car to continue our seemingly uneventful journey west.  We pulled away from the travel plaza and, after about 5 minutes on the road, I asked my Dad a question that stopped the car, and almost stopped his heart.  I said: “Dad, where’s David”.  It seems that in the midst of the activity Mom and Dad assumed David was in the car, but he was not.  Luke lifts a similar event out of the boyhood of Jesus when He was twelve years old that is similar to my experience, as His parents began to travel the 64 mile journey home from Nazareth to Jerusalem.

In those days, for safety reasons, people traveled in companies.  When the time came to leave Jerusalem, the group going to Galilee gathered together to begin the journey home.  Everything appeared to be seemingly uneventful, until someone asked the heart-stopping question, “Where’s Jesus?"  Immediately Mary and Joseph left the caravan and returned to Jerusalem and looked for Jesus for three days, and where do you suppose they found Him?  He was in the temple.

When my parents and I got back to the travel plaza, after a frantic search, there was my brother, standing at the book rack, fully absorbed in reading the latest Fantastic Four comic, unaware that he was missed.  When Mary and Joseph finally found Jesus in the temple, He was standing in the middle of the learned doctors of that day, fully absorbed in both hearing them and asking them questions, apparently unaware that he had been missed.  My brother, at the comic book rack, was missed because he was about his own business.  Jesus was missed because He was about His Father’s business.  Which one are you about, your business or that of your Heavenly Father?

Pastor Al Van Geersdaele

Pastor Al and his wife Louise are long time residents of Southbury CT.  They are blessed with their adult sons Aaron and Joshua and daughter in-law Natasha.  Al trusted in Christ for salvation in 1981.  He worked at Southbury Training School as the Power Plant Chief Engineer for 34 years.  He served as a Deacon in his former AG church for 22 years.  During this time he took courses at the Berean School of the Bible.  He became a Certified Minister in 1987, and became a Licensed Minister with the Assemblies of God in January 2005.  Pastor Al became First Assembly's Minister of Pastoral Care in February 2009.  His passion is preaching, teaching, reading, evangelism, and serving God's people.

Louise has been a RN at Danbury Hospital for the past 10 years and takes every opportunity to minister to the sick and their families.

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During this season before Easter, First Assembly of God will be publishing devotional messages, in conjunction with the book 40 Days with Jesus, compiled by Randy Hurst.  Members of our team are contributing short devotionals based in the campaign daily readings.

What IS 40 days with Jesus? Simply, a church-wide campaign to prepare our hearts and reach out to our friends at Easter 2011. From March 14th through Easter Sunday everyone at First Assembly is being challenged to read together through a series of daily Bible readings about the life of Jesus and the prophecies about Him from the Old Testament.  Then a couple of weeks before Easter we're asking everyone to give away a second book, "The Risen Savior", to a friend or family member with a personal invitation for them to come to church on Easter Sunday morning.

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