Make It Real

Good morning !

I have been busy these last few days getting services ready for the Christmas season. Last Sunday marked the first Sunday of Advent and we focused on Hope and marked the beginning of AIDS awareness week. We listened to the voices of the prophets of old and the prophets of today who hold up a vision of a place and a time when we have created a world where people are loved, held , valued and free. In the midst of that, on the weekend, Kaleigh received word that the younger sister of a friend of hers committed suicide. Then yesterday I received word from a friend that his brother committed suicide early this week. With the concept of hope looming in my mind I could not help but wonder how we communicate hope to people who find themselves in this place of hopelessness. I don’t know the answer really. What I do know is that this time of year, with its focus on family, togetherness and fun , can be one of the most difficult times for people who find themselves alone and struggling. And yet, from the perspective of faith, it should be a time when a new way is lifted up and where the presence of Divine is shared in such a way that no one walks alone. I think that sometimes we fail at communicating this message especially when we are caught up in the busyness and hype of the season.

Now I am not sure of exactly how to successfully communicate hope, especially in the midst of great darkness. However, I do believe that one way is to tell our story and confront negativity head on with positive energy. A little boy of 9, when asked what hope is said “ Hope is a thing that makes you feel kind of good inside, sort of like you are going to get a gift. ”The dictionary defines it this way, “Hope is the feeling of wanting something to happen and thinking that it can happen.” Our sacred story does not use the word hope but there are many stories that hold up this vision for us. Stories that invite us to believe that something great can happen and as the Divine presence works through us we can make the vision reality. It is about finding the shimmer of light at the end of the tunnel and that is precisely what Christmas is all about. As one of our hymns writes it “Hope is a star that shines in the night, leading us onward, beaming bright. When God is a child there’s joy in our song. The last shall be first and the weak shall be strong, and none shall be afraid.” (Hope is a Star by Brian Wren)

During Advent, as Christians, we hold up the principles of hope, peace, joy and love in a very particular way. We name that these are the things that move from possibility to reality in the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. In Jesus we have been given a blueprint, a way , if followed can move mountains, turn darkness into light, oppression into freedom, hate into love and war into peace. I invite you to make these real in your lives and then share that with those around you. Perhaps the more we share hope, the more we live it, the more people there will be who can walk from the darkness and into the light.

Blessings, Valerie

Reminders of the Week

Wednesdays through Advent – Worship at 7pm.
Saturday, December 3rd , 7pm – Our Annual Christmas Candlelight Concert. You do not want to miss this!!!

This Sunday is “ CHANGE FOR CHANGE”. Don’t forget to bring your loose change!

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