Sunday, December 27, 2015

Threshold of a new year

On the threshold of a new year 2016. Standing on this edge of a new year, we find it hard to leave the memories of 2015. A year of joy, tragedy, loss and gain. We have met each with the strength and the wisdom that life has granted us.

The minister called all the children to the front of the church. Emma was eagerly holding her mom's hand while Nolan was a bit apprehensive. The service was wonderful. As the Christmas story was told, the children were asked to participate. First up was the call for a Joseph. A boy of about nine stepped forward. Next came the need for a Mary. Sweet Emma stepped forward in all of her three years oldness. The congregation chuckled. A long blue drape was placed over her little head with her sweet face in all its innocence concentrating on her task. Next came the sheep. Nolan with limbs shaking stepped forward. The tiniest of the lambs and definitely the most timid.

The short service was filled with heavenly wonder. A little Mary held her baby close and lovingly moved the blankets from his face. Joseph loomed above her older in age as was Joseph to Mary. Emma knew what she was doing when she raised her hand.  She wanted to be near the baby. She wanted to be sweet Mary mother of baby Jesus. When the children turned to the audience, everyone was quiet. I swear I would not have been surprised to see a light shine upon Emma's sweet face. A spirit touched us. A Spirit that descended and told us that no matter what happens in this world, we are loved. A Spirit that told us to look for the face of God in all ages, all colors, all faiths, all happening of our lives

There is no way to know for sure that Christ was born on December 25. The date was thought by most to have been set on the end of winter solstice. I have no problem with the birth date. It doesn't matter. It is just a date. It is the event that matters. An event that is timeless and dateless. It is what we learned about helping others. It is about celebration of life. It is about bringing everyone from the richest to the poorest together. It is a story of a baby who brought hope, forgiveness and everlasting life.

A little girl in a blue drape wore her costume with more passion and depth than any I had seen before. She reminded me that we are Christ in the world no matter what our ages. She reminded me that as we leave an old year behind, we take with us the memories and, hopefully, by these memories make the new year and the future more blessed for others.

For many this new year will be difficult. I pray for you and with you that in this gift of love, we all find peace and hope. Happy New Year, my friends.

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