“A Child is born to us . . . Wonderful Counselor … Mighty God … Eternal Creator … The Long-Expected One of Peace.” ~~~ Isaiah 9:6
“Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart.” ~~~ Luke 2:19
We have been most fortunate in this “Shelter In Place … Covid 19 Year”, to be able to walk our dogs in our neighborhood three times a day. Each walk grants us an opportunity to experience some kind of ‘newness of life … encouragement of live with health, beauty, and grace…an opportunity of shalom’!
The ‘street art’ has been amazing; yards that have been brought back to life, bear-hugs in the window, signs that remind us to be kind, to thank one another – especially those on the front line of service, a call to respect one another in our diverse land, black lives matter, life is precious, and the amazing chalk drawings that have been created! Hopscotch … untold animal creations … and this Christmas Tree.
In the silence of that oh holy night so long ago … we remember the most amazing life that was born. In the midst of a census … a couple forged untold danger and found respite in a cattle stall. A young mother gave birth to a child who would grow up to be persecuted for his belief. Yet his parents taught him to care for all … not just for some. That night … in the midst of intolerance … love was truly born!
We celebrate that night in the midst of our own tragic circumstances. May we remember that LOVE is the greatest equalizer on earth. Without Love … life is not worth our breathing. Remember that first breath of life that Christmas night … the pain of Mother Mary … the anxiety of Father Joseph … the warmth of the Light of God. May we never forget. May LOVE ALWAYS WIN. May our fractured world find healing.
May you be touched by the light of that Christmas night … and may you reach out to your neighbors far and wide with that warm light of love. Give Thanks … Be Grateful … Let Love Guide Your Every Gesture. And be the Love of Jesus God intended you to be from the very beginning.
Prayer for Christmas (Johann Rist, 1641; translated by Fred Pratt Green, 1986) : Come, dearest child, into our hearts, and leave your crib behind you! Let this be where the new life starts for all who seek and find you. To you the honor, thanks, and praise, for all your gifts this time of grace; come conquer and deliver this world, and us, forever.
Jay P., United Methodist Church of Santa Cruz