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A Single Spark

January 03, 2022

Merry Christmas to Matt & Congregation from First Presbyterian Visalia!

Our first adventure in lighting an Advent candle at First Pres Visalia’s worship service this year was nearly a dud: no matches anywhere. But I remembered I had some in my Jeep that Flood handed out almost 20 years ago! I had worshiped there when visiting my sons and later took some of our youth crew to show them "Flood-style" worship. At that gathering I was handed a Flood branded matchbox. The matchboxes were intended to be used as a creative way to invite a friend to church.

I retrieved the old matchbox from my car and we struck one of the matches to light the first candle of Advent here. No big deal, right?

After service, our pastor and I talked about the way that little box of matches spoke to us.

Matt, Adam, Scott, Lindsey, and the rest of the old Flood team had no clue where all those little boxes of matches would end up. Would any lives light up when the message in one of those matchboxes struck a soul? Same goes for the music back then. Would any of the songs make a spiritual spark? And the same goes for every one of us when we’ve talked about Christ at the gym or the dry cleaners, sharing words of warmth and meaning in a pretty cold world. So many literal and figurative matches we’ve all given away over the years.

Who knew if it would make a Kingdom difference?

Well, on the first Sunday of Advent this year at FPC Visalia, the Flood matches your crew gave away encouraged us that it does.

Although the words we speak, the music we make, and the messages we preach might sit for decades before bursting to light ... like the matches in my glove box ... the Good News we share today will bring light, warmth, and hope when they are needed. You brightened our worship with a handy match, but you encouraged us even more with that bright message.

Keep it up, brothers and sisters! Keep it up!

- Merl

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