Friday, December 4

advent 2009

As the Christmas season nears I find myself remembering favorite childhood memories. Although it doesn’t really relate to Christmas or Advent, I remember with great delight the first time I saw The Wizard of Oz with my mother and sister Marcia. I don’t remember how old we were, but we left the theater in a skipping step, singing “We’re off to see the Wizard, the wonderful Wizard of Oz!” I still enjoy seeing the movie when it returns to TV in its re-mastered glory, and it was brought to mind just recently when Charles and I attended the Savannah Theater’s production “Hooray for Hollywood.” Among the performers was one of my former students who played the Cowardly Lion to perfection. I thought of the genius of the writers who had taken the absolute symbol of power, courage, and majesty, the magnificent lion, and turned him into a cowering, shaking, and fear-filled creature, only to be re-formed into his glorious kingly self after a visit to the Land of Oz. Accompanying the lion on the journey were Dorothy, Tin Man, and Scare Crow. What a foursome they were: Dorothy just wanted to get home to Aunty Em, Tin Man wanted a heart, Scare Crow wanted a brain, and the Lion wanted his courage.

We could all take note of their goals. How precious are the blessings we are given in the homes we share with our families and friends, no matter the time of year. Moreover, our families extend beyond the bounds of our houses to the family of faith we share within First Baptist Church of Savannah. Like Tin Man we literally cannot live without a heart, which pumps life-giving blood through our bodies; however, the heart has also become the symbol of love, affection, and faithfulness. God knows, and has taught us well, that we could not maintain our individual family and home without the love expressed in the care, concern, and kindness that make us both human and humane. Certainly we are grateful for the God-given intelligence that enables us to make wise decisions, and allows us to learn, even to learn from our mistakes. Finally, like the lion, although we sometimes lose our courage in lost relationships, apparent failures, or unsuccessful projects which damage our self esteem, we can become reinvigorated again with a little time, patience, and prayer.

In 2010 the families of First Baptist will face difficult decisions and sacrifices as we begin the needed repairs and renovations of our 1830 sanctuary. The renovations will require our courage, our love, and our intelligence to preserve Savannah’s purist form of neoclassical architecture. Fortunately, we don’t have to make a trip to Oz to accomplish those goals. We simply have to pray that our God leads us, strengthens us, and makes us ever faithful as we work together to make our old church building so strong that she lives another 180 years. God grant us the courage to see it happen!

– Lynne Davis

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