Speaking from the Heart: January, 2018
We have a few more days of Christmas, liturgically, even though the world has left Christmas behind and has moved onto the next holiday. I have packed away the Christmas decorations.
We anticipate and wait, the event happens, and we move on without lingering. It’s the way it is….then comes Epiphany, reminding us of the light and manifestation of God in the world. And God knows, we live in a world that needs Light, needs saving: justice, peace, transformation, deep systemic change. It leaves me wondering what 2018 will bring because 2017 was a tough year.
I see a world that needs Jesus to be born again and again, and maybe more of us will get the message. Maybe this time we will lay down our greed, intolerance, injustice, and fears and receive from the Prince of Peace a new heart. We tell the story of Jesus. We hear the story. We sing the story. But do we truly receive and live the story? Is your church a place where you can go to lay down what troubles you and know that having done so there is absolutely no chance that God will leave you unchanged? Isn’t this what the world needs? I know it is what I need.
This is what I did at church on Christmas Eve. I lit a candle, I sang “Silent Night.” I imagine you did the same. I did this believing in a God who wants to be known and received by us, who came as a vulnerable, dependent baby, as one of us. Yet, it is hard for us to truly know and receive God when we are busy alternating between being right and feeling bad. We can’t hold onto our stuff with one hand and reach for Jesus with the other. We need to lay our troubles and burdens down and believe that when we do there is absolutely no chance that God will leave us unchanged. That’s the message I want to go with into 2018. Let us be people changed by God because in the tender compassion of God, we were sent a savior who showed us how to love and live.