The light shines in the darkness. . .soon luminaria will be outlining the church. The Advent Wreath will be ready for our weekly lighting. One can go to the River of Lights at the zoo, or simply drive around the neighborhoods enjoying the lights from homes. Each light on a string, each candle, each paper bag filled with sand and a candle, are our statement that the darkness will not overwhelm us. In this darkest season of the year – with the shortest days and longest nights – as people of faith we choose not to stand in the darkness, but to seek the light of Christ.
May this be a season of light and hope for each of you this year. Light your candles, your luminaria (or farolitos!), put lots of lights on your tree. But most of all remember that the light Christ brought into this world is one the darkness cannot overcome!
Loving and serving God with you,
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Recently, I’ve been thinking about “holy ground moments” that occur in my life. Holy Ground moments are those when you especially experience the presence of God (whether Father, Son or Holy Spirit). Sometimes they are sustained – like a long conversation with a close friend that ends up going into really deep or meaningful places. Other times they are fleeting, like a high five from a child as I go down the center aisle at the beginning of worship.
They are also in especially painful moments – when there are no words for the shared grief and so you simply stand in the pain together and silently. Or anxious moments anticipating a doctor’s appointment that is to give test results. I am often surprised to find myself on Holy Ground – spending time with someone who ended up being much more fun than I anticipated or more insightful.
In each of these moments, though God is present and some part of God’s nature is revealed. And I am reminded of how good, gracious, powerful and compassionate our God is, even in the small fleeting moments of life.
In this season of giving thanks, I am grateful for God’s presence in the Holy Ground moments of my life and the life of my family and the life and ministry of this congregation. My prayer for you is that God is revealed to you in ways that make the time Holy Ground time.
Take off your shoes, for you are standing on Holy Ground.
Loving and serving God with you,
Recently, I have been thinking a lot about balance (don’t ask why, because I don’t know!). We like having balance in all aspects of our life – we like our checkbook to balance, and a balance between work and play. The best relationships are where there is a balance in the give and take and we all know that a balanced diet is the best way to stay healthy. We want the scales of justice to balance as well – a mark that justice is being served in society. There are those who do yoga or tai chi as a way to maintain physical balance as well those who know that without a walker or cane, they are apt to lose their balance and fall.
But as much as we desire balance, we know that life can throw off our equilibrium in all kinds of ways. We lose our job or someone we love dies. We are working so many hours that there is no time for family. Our health takes a hit and we are suddenly debilitated or at least find ourselves having to learn again how to walk or stand and maintain our balance. There are the tragedies we have seen recently – fires, earthquakes, hurricanes, that create such devastation that entire communities have lost any sense of balance and don’t know where to start in moving forward.
It is in times like these that the body of Christ can be the community of balance. Can’t find words to pray? Let us pray on your behalf. Struggling with God’s goodness or justice? Let us struggle through that with you. Need time for comfort, rebuilding a life or healing? We have all the time to journey with you. You can come here when the scales of your life are totally out of balance and we will open our hearts to listen, pray, and support. And in that way God (and others) will be with you as balance is regained. We do this for one another. Today it may be your life that is out of balance. Tomorrow it may be mine. We are in this together. This is the place. We are the people. God is present among us.
“Bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2
Serving Christ with you,