These inspirational Scriptural based writings, related to challenges, faith, hope, grief, & healing are posted monthly in IHG waiting rooms & the Glory Center to reflect upon, grow from & apply to daily living.
The fact is, as we move through our days, God our Creator & great composer, is ever present with us in all living things & situations but sometimes we are so distracted by the scattered pieces of our lives that we just don’t recognize the varied ways that God may be speaking to us.
Since God is the creator of all life, God is in everything & everything is in God. It is through creation that God reveals Himself to us. As new life breaks forth in the Spring, God is revealed to us, sometimes in familiar ways & sometimes in fresh new ways.
Life is complicated don’t you think? Sometimes we are able to see & experience the pure beauty of being alive & we feel holy joyful, grateful, hopeful, energized & purposeful. And then other times we experience & see unavoidable tragedy & we suffer & lose our sense of meaning, belonging & purpose in life. As our life experiences seem to shift between beauty & suffering, upon occasion, it can be a challenge to understand exactly what the ultimate meaning of this life we have been given is. That is especially true when we are experiencing suffering, be it caused by: serious illness, grief, loss, injustice, loneliness, betrayal, etc.
The Bible tells us that through God’s steadfast love for all creation He has given us the freedom to choose how we will live amidst the beauty & the suffering we encounter through our living. Though we have been given a choice of how we will live & receive the beauty & suffering of life, God walks with us through our life, guides us & awakens us in a wide variety of ways to feed our faith & to help us chose how we will experience & participate in the ultimate meaning of the life He gives us. It is up to us what we chose to do as we move through our days.
The month of January is known as the month of new beginnings. We have all just journeyed through the four weeks of Advent, which in the Christian faith is known as the season of preparation for the fulfillment of the new thing that God is about to do. Following Advent, we stepped immediately into the observance & celebration of Christmas, the fulfillment of God’s promised gift of the birth of “Emmanuel”, God with us. On Christmas Eve, we stepped into Christmas as if through our four weeks of Advent we had arrived to the point of being fully prepared to receive & live into God’s gracious gift of His Son, given for us. And now in this first secular month of the year, we step into a New Year as if the former year is past & we were not affected by it & are prepared to live into a new year.
Traditionally, many people make resolutions of how they will live at the start of the new year, committing themselves to change some way they have been living. When I think of the word resolution, I think of a firm decision to act & to live differently based on some deep sense of purpose a person has come to, after some life altering event or awareness. When you think of it, what is more life altering then the birth of our Savior? So, the question is, what resolution, what unwavering commitment will we make to our way of living as we step into this new year, that will contribute to preparing the way for God’s promise to be realized & thus live into the healing of all of creation?
The question believers are faced with, is how can we save & continue to grow & develop our key values & pass on the sacred stories & celebrations that were given to us to feed us through life & to light our way in a world, that through a changing culture, dilutes the traditions & blurs the Holy liturgy of our lives?