As we celebrate Christmas this year we are drawn into the social and cultural remembering of this past year. It has been a trying time for all of us. Some of you may have been ill with the coronavirus, or had family and friends suffer from it. We have all experienc3ed social distancing, wearing masks, staying home from work or social gatherings, worship and church events. I invite you to reflect on the church’s patterning of time. This invites us to recognize, today, God with us. This reminds us our year begins with Advent and keeps before us not only the remembrance of the incarnation, but to expect that God’s yet unfulfilled promises remain trustworthy. Whether in a person or a community, around us are indeed glimpses of God’s active grace, if we have the imagination to see. It is time to begin looking to begin again, starting at the manger in Bethlehem where our Lord was born.
In this hope-diminishing year we have just experienced, I pray that you have maintained the imagination to recognize God’s promise-keeping presence among those in your community. Perhaps your eyes were opened to God’s work among those you love, or among those you struggle to love. Because Luke’s narratives remind us to see God’s grace impacting the young and old, rich and poor, leaders and led, Jew and Gentile. It has always been a promise to all the world. That memory, that glimpse, brings peace and hope for each of us.
God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, in a lowly manger in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as His children. Young men and women, old and young together are called to come to that manger where God’s Son was born! We are all given the blessing of God with us. So now, let us leave from this year in peace and hope. God has begun a new season among us.
Our time under God is now. It is time to remember, reflect, recognize and give thanks to praise to God for Jesus Christ, our Savior. God is with us. And we have each other to share God’s Good News with the world.
Merry Christmas to each of you and your families. May the year 2021 bring you joy, peace and hope and may God’s richest blessings cover you all.
Pastor Sue Beall