New Year Reflections

New Year Reflections

New Year Reflections

Merry Christmas! We’re still right in the middle of this Christmas season, no matter what the secular world tells us, but also, Happy End of 2021!

I am not sure if I should say that with excitement and joy, tentative trepidation, a sigh of relief. I do say Happy End of 2021 and Happy 2022 with faith that God is going to keep showing up no matter that 2022 will bring.

But I am pretty sure that many of you, like me, are okay with the year 2021 ending.

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A Future With Hope

A Future With Hope

Christmas is all about hope. When we are little our Christmas hope is drawn to a special toy or video game. We yearn for Christmas to come in anticipation of the presents under the tree. As we grow up, our Christmas hope is drawn to different “toys” and gifts of the day. The different toys and gifts begin to include the hope we give to others by the sharing of physical signs of our love for them. Even the lights and decorations that spring up in these winter days are signs of hope: the hope that Christmas will come and continue to bring light and beauty into our worlds. All through life, Christmas is all about hope.

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Whomever Takes the Son

Whomever Takes the Son

This Advent we have shared many wonderful experiences as we have prepared our hearts for the coming of the Son. As the waiting grows shorter, I am reminded of a wonderful old story I heard many years ago, a story that sums up these last few days of Advent anticipation. I have no idea who first told it, but for me this story brings all into focus.

The story is about a father and son who were devoted art collectors. Their love of art was only eclipsed by their love for one another. As we might expect, when the young man was called off to war, there was much anxiety and many tearful farewells….

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Rejoicing in Lost Sheep Found

Rejoicing in Lost Sheep Found

Our Advent observances are well underway, and I am sure that you thoroughly enjoyed this year’s Christmas Market. Of particular interest to me was “The Bethlehem Petting Zoo.” I so enjoyed watching my young friends from St. David’s Episcopal Day School delight in the animals. It all reminded me of the wonderful book my friend The Rev. Geneva Butz wrote in 1988 about her experiences with the Christmas Crèche at Old First Reformed Church at Fourth and Race Streets in Philadelphia. The book is called Christmas Comes Alive! and is full of stories of Geneva’s experiences with the live animals, from the time the farmer dropped them off until Christmas Eve.

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Preparing the Way

Preparing the Way

Preparing our hearts and lives for God to enter in is part of the Christian life in every season. God is always inviting us to prepare some space in our lives for God to come in. It’s part of the wonder of God’s love that God is ready to come into our lives at any time. Yet, God also respects our free will so much that God will only come in when invited or when we take physical steps to make room for God. So, in this season of Advent, we are all called to make a space, to prepare a way, to make some choices about how we are living so God can come in.

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