Saturday, December 9, 2023
Psalm 116: 5-6
5 The Lord watches over the innocent; I was brought very low, and he helped me.
6 Turn again to your rest, O my soul. for the Lord has treated you well.
Only 12 days to the winter solstice. December 21st. The day with the most hours of darkness. I find it strange that the movements of the planet and sun so accurately reflect the realities of my life. I have learned not to fear the deepest darkness (though, admittedly, I hate the thought of it), for the Lord always has and always will bring me forth once again to light.
Absolutely a Johannine image: light, coming into the darkness. (John 1: 9)
Christmas always arrives in deep winter darkness. A promise of brighter days ahead. A sign of hope, joy, and love.
I suspect it takes a lifetime of joy, suffering, and recovery to begin to truly believe. Can one really appreciate wholeness without suffering the pain of brokenness? I can think of no truer sentence in the Bible than the one above: “…I was brought very low, and he helped me.”
I have found the greatest joy of Christmas arriving in my lap when I submitted myself to God’s will and God’s way. Rather than buying gifts for myself or for another whom I loved, I began the practice of searching each year for some soul buried in darkness and then trying, as anonymously as possible, to offer a moment of bright light to that person. Once it was a trumpet for an inner-city boy who could only participate in band by using a much-abused school horn. Another time, a mall gift certificate for a family whose husband had lost his job. Yet another time, assistance for someone dying of cancer.
Why did Jesus come?
Jesus came so we could become light in the dark winters of life. So we could shine in the darkness. How does a candle shine? It allows itself to be used up in a work of light.
Hymn of the day: Here I Am to Worship. Online at Here I Am To Worship - YouTube.
Rev. Lawrence Keeler