Advent 2021: Sunday, December 12

December 12, 2021

I find it interesting that Christmas and the new year are only 8 days apart and both provide us a time to reflect on the last year and hope for the new year. Like many, this past year has been a year of loss for me. My spiritual mentor and long-time friend of 45 years passed away this August and my only brother passed away in September. 

Feelings of grief and emptiness are natural when we lose something or someone dear to us. Coupled with this loss, is the recognition that our own time is limited. Regardless of our age, it is important for us to wrestle with the reality that our days are numbered. As we think about the days ahead, we need to strive to live them well and fill them with love and purpose.

As Christians our purpose is simply to “Love God and love one another”. Each of our paths are different as to how we will do this, but I find it reassuring that in some small way we can each play a role in making this world a more loving, peaceful, and just place. As we play our role, we also have the promise of God at work, transforming us to be more loving and Christ-like. Slowly chiseling off our rough exterior, to reveal the beautiful creation that God has designed and destined us to be. In this metamorphosis we are slowly freed from the self-destructive desires and actions that may at the time seem scintillating and fun but end up destroying our lives and the lives of those around us.

In this Christmas season I pray that we can recognize the great gift we have been given in the birth of Christ. His gift includes purpose, meaning, peace and joy as we walk thru this life in the here and now. And the best part is, that this is only the beginning. 

Merry Christmas!

Steve Hill, elder