Advent Devotion – Day 20

Dear Summerfielders,

Wow, 20! Only four more days of Advent left. How quickly this month has flown by. If you have been thinking, “I really should right something about_____” now is the time. Your reflections are still welcome, but you don’t have much time.

Today WPR announced that Jim Fleming who hosts their nationally broadcast program, “To the Best of Our Knowledge”, is retiring. It got me to thinking about how influential the radio has been to me and the times that I have heard God speaking to me through the song that came on just when I needed it, the decisions that I have made that have been influenced by things I have heard on the radio, and the many sermon examples I have drawn from stories on the radio.

However, as I reflected I realized that the radio host who had been the biggest guiding star in my life was a fictional one. When I was in high school and college there was a show on CBS on Monday nights called “Northern Exposure” It as about a very small community in Alaska. They had one radio station, and so every one in town listened to it. Later in life I found a similar situation when I lived in Canada and there were two radio stations, one of which was much more broadly listened to than the other, so you could walk out of one store with the radio on and follow right along as you entered the next store with the same station playing.

Anyway, Chris Stevens was the DJ. He was an ex-con who had moved to Alaska after his incarceration. He had become ordained while in prison through an ad he found in the back of Rolling Stone Magazine, so he also served as the town’s spiritual advisor and officiant at all ceremonies. Because the entire town listened to the same radio station, he built community and was always thoughtful and insightful. I think there are many ways in which he shaped my imagination to envision a way of being influential that had never occurred to me before. He also influenced by theology, spirituality, and my world view. I still have a soft spot for the actor who played him and delight in watching him in Maggie’s favorite movie, “Ramona and Beezus”.

Shining stars can be fictional characters. Think of your favorite book, a TV show you watched for a long time, or a movie that was important to you. Aren’t there characters there that inspired you or influenced your walk? When we are open to hearing God, we can find God speaking through channels that we would never have expected.

Open yourself to hearing God. He is all around, speaking through real, flawed humans, and characters that are just inventions of humans. We are never too old, broken, and certainly not too perfect to grow.


Pastor Jennifer