I sit within the darkness of the morning. A candle is lit; and I pray. Within the darkness, I write with pen and paper. I believed I had one thing to say about Christmas for The Lincoln County Information. As an alternative, my pc is filled with discarded drafts and the deadline is looming. Is there something to be stated about Christmas that hasn’t already been written by poets, artists, musicians, and theologians? I’m clearly less than this process.
The world is darkish and grey exterior my window. I discover the define of naked tree limbs towards the sky. A latest windstorm pruned the timber, a reminder of local weather change. The world is grey, and I’ve nothing to say, so I sit in silence.
COVID-19, its delta and omicron variants are sickening folks, filling our hospitals, and exhausting our healthcare professionals. Gun violence, political battle, and rage inducing information tales fill our newsfeeds. And I can’t appear to jot down a Christmas reflection that doesn’t sound preachy or trite.
An angel appeared to Mary and stated, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you. Don’t be afraid, Mary, for you’ve discovered favor with God.”
And Mary sang a track of reward for the goodness of God and justice on the earth. I look out into the grey darkness and picture a waste basket filled with prior drafts of an article. How may Mary sing a track of reward proclaiming God’s goodness in a time that was so clearly tousled?
I pull out a pen and a pocket book and write lengthy hand within the darkness. The angel appeared, “Greetings, favored one!” My coronary heart opens. Within the grey daybreak, I sense God’s goodness on the earth.
The persons are uninterested in political battle and decided to interrupt down the obstacles that divide us from each other. Healthcare employees proceed to offer take care of all of the folks. Religion communities attain out to 1 one other and the broader neighborhood, standing with hope when hope feels elusive. Individuals obtain vaccinations, preserve bodily distance, and smile behind masks.
At Christmas, God involves us within the kind of a kid, later a person, who sees us, loves us and reminds us that we’re beloved. Every of us is favored by God. We merely have to hearken to the angel or the Spirit or the buddy who involves us and says, “Concern not, favored one.”
Christians all over the world will collect this Christmas. We are going to collect in particular person, through Zoom, Fb Reside, Skype. We are going to discover ourselves within the historic story.
Maybe we would be the shepherds on the night time shift who’re within the darkness when a light-weight seems they usually hear the phrases, “Be not afraid, for I’ve introduced you excellent news.”
Maybe we are going to journey with the sheep to hunt the holy youngster mendacity in a manger.
Maybe we shall be just like the magi following the star, greeting shepherds, and sharing our items.
Maybe, just like the magi, we are going to belief the dream that tells us to keep away from King Herod who’s plotting towards Jesus.
Maybe we are going to be part of the magi and return dwelling by a special and surprising route.
Maybe we would be the manger and maintain Jesus for the world to see. Maybe we shall be Mary and ponder all of this in our hearts.
There may be all the time gentle within the darkness. Even when the day dawns grey there’s gentle. When phrases fail us, when playing cards aren’t despatched, when the world appears darkish and full of terror, ache, and violence, there’s gentle.
Sitting in darkness, the sunshine comes. With Mary, let’s sing joyful songs of reward.
(The Rev. Nancy Duncan is the pastor of the Broad Bay Congregational United Church of Christ, Waldoboro. The congregation gathers for worship at 10 a.m. on Sundays and can worship on Christmas Eve at 4:30 p.m. Providers are each in particular person and on-line. For extra data, go to broadbaychurch.org. For Skype hyperlink: firstname.lastname@example.org, or name 832-6898.)