I was speaking to someone this week about coming back to work and being in the pulpit this Sunday. It’s hard for me to believe that it’s been two months since I preached. That’s the longest stretch since I began as a pastor in 1998. Even after each of my children, I would preach within the first four weeks. The St Luker I was speaking to said some profound words which have set with me all week. She said “I can’t wait to hear what word you have to bring about love in the midst of unlovely times.”
The next day we heard the horrific news of the massacre of innocent children in Pakistan. Economies are falling around the world. We worry about continued tension with North Korea. In our own St. Luke’s family, six families are dealing with the grief of losing loved ones. And of course there are those who are dealing with illness, loss, and sadness during this holiday season. Sunday will be the Winter Solstice, the longest night of the year. For many it will be a night which reflects the season of their soul, and it feels quite un-lovely.
And yet as John promised in the opening words of the gospel story “What came into being through the Word was life, and the life was the light for all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness doesn’t extinguish the light.” (John 1:4-5) This Sunday in worship Pastor Bill and I will explore this Love that comes to us as Light in a dark and unlovely world. A love so powerful and so strong, it adorns us as a bride on her wedding day. (Isaiah 61:10-11)
As you prepare the final gifts to give, and begin the preparations for your celebrations, find ways to prepare to share the love that could possibly lighten someone’s dark, un-lovely moments. Remember a shut in, pray deeply for those families in grief, send a card to someone just to say “you are in my heart.” Continue the love you’ve shown for me over the last few months for someone else in need. You could be the very light that breaks through their longest night. I can’t wait to see you Sunday!!
Grace and Peace,
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