Dear Advent People,
May light reach you. The light of Christ’s coming. The light of hope in a dark night sky, the light we pass one to another. I recently saw the Mr. Rogers movie, “It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”. I left the theatre reminded again, that kindness and compassion are indeed a most significant force of transformation in the world. I left musing on God’s decision to change the world by placing a newborn child in a manger. A decision to change the world, not by force or strength, but by one who came bringing healing in his hands. A decision irrefutably as naive as Mr. Rogers way of living appeared to be, and yet by this, a world can be altered.
Such a decision is not without risk or ridicule, largely because it seems too gentle, too simplistic for such a complex and weary world. It may be, but I know of no greater force among us. Nathan Pyle is a favorite cartoonist of mine. I think he states the risk of love well.
Christmas has dawned among us once again. As pastor, I am blessed with a unique perspective during the Christmas Eve worship services. I have the opportunity to stand before you as you pass light one to another in the darkness, at the singing of Silent Night. I watch the light spread. I watch light illumine the faces of grandparents who have seen seasons of gratitude as well as loss. I watch the light passed to young children, faces aglow with innocence and hope and the joy of Santa. I watch as the youngest among us, pass the light to those with tears in their eyes, and I see healing pass with the light. I watch as my own children, now adults, carry the strength and story of a new generation.
We are bidden this Advent to pass light, one to another; to friend and stranger alike. It is always a risk. But as I watch you do it every Christmas Eve, I see the room lighten. I see the light stretch to the doors. Such is the nature of Christmas. A God who would risk sending his son into this world, that we might know healing, hope and light. What a privilege is ours to be bearers of that light to the world. It is always worth the risk.
Thank you, O Advent people, for the many ways you bear light to the world. May the holy light of this season find you blessed and offer you the peace of this season. O people of Bethlehem, we are a church named after a miraculous night, when love touched the earth and entered the world. May that powerful love and hope enter you this day.
Blessed Advent and Merry Christmas, Pastor Laura