My dear Grace United Church of Christ family,
Advent has come and gone, we talked about getting ready,
preparing ourselves but most especially our hearts for the coming of our Savior,
who came as a tiny baby, born in a dirty, dark, cold, smelly stable.
For 4 weeks, we lit the Advent candles to help us prepare.
On Christmas Eve we lit the Christ candle to share the light of Christ with the world.
Then came the Christmas season, the time when we gather after Christmas
to share the joy, the love, to teach one another,
to know that “nothing is impossible with God”. Luke 1:37
Mary’s faith is so strong, that she places herself in God’s hands…
“Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Luke 1:38
Now we are in the season of Epiphany, the season of light.
The light shines in the darkness…
“Arise, shine; for your light has come,
and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.” Isaiah 60:1
Is our faith that strong, do we see the light shining,
do we place ourselves in God’s hands?
I want to tell you some Christmas stories, some stories of the light of Christ,
some stories of servant-hood and faith….
One young person, a teen was standing line with his number,22 to buy his IPhone X. His friend had 23. Of course, they stood in line all night. When the IPhone X came in, there were only 22 of them. Our teen had #22, and his friend# 23. Our teen gave his friend his number so that he could buy the IPhone X and he went home with out one. Sounds to me, like he knew servant hood, he knew what it means to love.
A small child, was looking and looking all over for Pastor Mindy. She couldn’t find me because I didn’t have my robe on; I blended in with everyone else. She looks all over, finally as the service is to start… she sees me from her mother’s lap, and smiles and waves. She lights up. She had found me. She was so excited. Her pastor was smiling at her. God was smiling at her. Sounds to me like this little one knew about family and God’s love.
An adult, not so long ago, was down in the dumps. It had been a tough day, heck it had been a tough week. And she wasn’t feeling like she was loved, or even that she should be doing what she was doing. But then a hug, a kind word, and acknowledgement that God was working through others, respect was given, love was shared, and the Spirit of Christmas was shining through.
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness shall not over come it.” John 1:5
God’s light shines in us, in how we treat one another, in what we say and how we live. The light of Christ shines in how we love and live together within our family and within our world. When we say mean things, when we set out to hurt someone especially anonymously, we aren’t sharing the light of Christ. I invite you to share the light of Christ with others.
Christ’s light is shining… Thanks be to God!
Blessed, Pastor Mindy