Friday, December 30, 2011

The Gift of Light

Dear Pamela,

I awoke this morning at about 3am, the time when the monks at the Abbey would likely be finishing lauds.  As I normally do when I awake so early, I simply lay in bed and pray.  I prayed for you, I prayed for my other friends and colleagues, I prayed for my family and for the church of Christ.  I must have fallen back asleep because the next thing I knew it 6am.  I got up and started the coffee, filled with a sense of the Holy Spirit.  Pure Joy, that’s what it was.  

Was the source of joy my new washer and dryer?  I am quite thrilled not to have to hang all of my wet laundry everywhere in the house now like I have been for the past week and a half since my dryer quit on me!  But, that’s not where the joy came from, of that I am sure.  I think what happened is that I slowed down long enough in the past 24 hours to allow God to speak to my heart.  I, like many of my pastor colleagues, have a hard time during Advent and Christmas- there is so much going on!  Six baptisms, a handful of new members, Sunday School Christmas program, Live Nativity, home communions, two services on Christmas Eve and one on Christmas, and then all of the duties required of me at home to get ready for the “big day.”  It can be exhausting, which I know you know.  But yesterday I only worked for three hours and then spent the rest of the day reading, cleaning, meandering around a clean house.  Nice!  This morning I woke up refreshed and ready for God to give me whatever it was that I needed.

As Martin and I headed out to the biketrail it was still dark, but when we turned around at the half way point and started for home the sun was peeking out over the trees in the distance.  I heard God say to me, “Amy, let go of all of the anxiety, all the worry about others, all the tasks and busyness, let it go.  Because the Son will Rise!”  I realized, once again that which I have to be constantly reminded of, that it is God who is in charge of things. God who sent his only Son into the world to rescue us from sin and death is ever-present, loving us, forgiving us, protecting us, walking with us.  As I ponder the nativity of the King of kings, I am reminded of how the story ends (and where it begins for me and for you)!  The Son will RISE!  

With Christ in our lives, what on earth do we lack?  

May the light of the world bless you and keep you always my dear friend.  

In Christ’s love,


Early morning in Norwalk, Ohio from Firelands Rails to Trails

Dear Amy,

So a week has gone by.  As the marketing world invites us to return or exchange or even buy ahead for next Christmas, we are invited to savor the time at hand -- the days of Christmas.  Time has passed with a delightful blend of light and dark, sheer delight and tender grief.  

The time between Christmas and Epiphany is characterized by potential, particularly for the children of God.  We open the most precious gift of Christmas, the Christ which has been born again and again in the darkness of our world and in our hearts.

It seems that part of the mission we share is to remain in this gift, this Christ is a gift that is a perfect fit for us right where we are.  But there is so much more than the way that this present suits us now.  As we "put on" Christ we are transformed, reformed, and shaped in new ways for the glory of God and the good of others. There is no way we can predict how this gift will unfold.   If we are willing, there is no limit to its capacity to radiate the brilliant beam of truth and love, and, ultimately, PEACE, in the regions of our being and our relationships which are still in darkness.  There is no way we can predict where the gift will lead.  

Every day we have the opportuity to begin another day of cherishing this gift.  As we pray, we are drawn into a conversation with God, who reveals His complete knowledge of us and His unconditional love for us through Christ.  

For those of us in Northeastern Ohio where the mists and fogs of Lake Erie often blanket the sun at this time of year, this is very, very good news.  In Christ we have all of the Light we need.  Praying with this truth may be one of our most effective ways to meet Seasonal Affective Disorder toe to toe!  
Surely this is a gift that provides all of the Light we need.



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