One has to wonder when fear, doubt, pain & hopeless despair threaten to overtake us, how we are able to sustain the hope, peace, joy & receive the love that we experienced as we paused at the manger on Christmas eve.
One has to wonder when fear, doubt, pain & hopeless despair threaten to overtake us, how we are able to sustain the hope, peace, joy & receive the love that we experienced as we paused at the manger on Christmas eve. I think we would all agree that it can be a challenge to abide in the spirit of Holy light when we are bombarded daily with news of spiking numbers of deaths from the virus & various other serious news reports that threaten us. However, as difficult & dark as the situation may be, the fact is, by God’s Grace, the divine star set by God to lead the people to the new life promised on that Holy night, remains for us & in us, beyond Christmas day. For all eternity, the light does shine in the darkness & the darkness will never overcome it. The birth of the Son of God is the beginning ofthe new life promised by God, not an ending. God’s promise of new lifeis ongoing & will never end. Regardless of what challenges we may be called on to deal with, the Holy star that leads us to the manger, can never be extinguished. This was no ordinary star. God set the bright star before the shepherds & kings & now even us, to lead all with eyes to see, into the new day that had been promised, a day of hope, peace & joy in God’s unending love.
God’s grace always precedes human action. To follow the star, to follow all of God’s signs requires some act of abandonment, some trust, some faith. We need to do our part. We have to look & listen and act. When we turn our focus, faith & trust to God, the light & love of God will abide in our heart & we will know true hope, peace, joy & love. As we step into this new year abiding in the spirit of light received, we ourselves will be bearers of His light, celebrating Christmas throughout the year.
The prophet Isaiah in 43:19, tells us that God is about to do a new thing & that “God will make a new way in the wilderness & rivers in the desert”. The promise of hope & healing has been given to us in these words. Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God. God is faithful to His promise. In the fullness of time, through God’s unending grace, healing will be given, sustaining hope will be restored & injustice will cease.
As we all step forward into this new year trusting in the unfolding fulfillment of God’s promises, in faith, may we focus our thoughts on; whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, & if there is anything excellent, & if there is anything worthy of praise, may we think about these things, & the peace that passes all understanding will guard our minds & our hearts.
“Christmas isn’t Christmas ‘till it happens in your heart. Somewhere deep inside you is where Christmas really starts. So, give your heart to Jesus, you’ll discover when you do, that it’s Christmas really, Christmas for you.”
~Posted by Rev Kathryn Bindig, MDiv. MS; Pastoral Care Minister with assistance from Rich Muscatello; Director of Business Development & Strategy