These images are both sides of a visual blessing made for a lovely woman in our community. She is going through a challenging time, but is not without hope and has the ever-loving presence of God with her, as well as some loving people to walk through the dark times. The message of the blessing seems kind-of fitting during these darkest days of the year, the news of recent losses and heartache beyond measure, and for those who are waiting for the new season and wondering what it will hold.
Today is the winter solstice, the end of the Mayan calendar. To be honest, I wasn’t worried about it. I do think, though, that a new age is transitioning in. What that means and looks like is open to as many views and ideas as there are people. Contemplating this, I started to look up some World News this morning, but then decided my time was better and more pleasantly spent getting ready for family and friends coming tomorrow. So I turned up the Christmas music and joyfully cleaned and arranged fresh fruit in bowls.
Thinking of this time in history, I am reminded of the magi. “the star appeared to them, guiding them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were filled with joy! They entered the house where the child and his mother, Mary, were, and they fell down before him and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.” (Matthew2:9-11 NLT) The entering of that new age wasn’t what most people expected. It went unnoticed by most, and was fraught with bloodshed of the innocents brought about by wickedness. And yet there was hope and there is hope now, EMMANUEL, God with us. As Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist prophesied:
“Because of God’s tender mercy,
the light from heaven is about to break upon us,
to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide us to the path of peace.”
Luke 1:78-79 NLT
As the angel said to the shepherds:
“Don’t be afraid!
I bring you good news of great joy for everyone!
yes, the Messiah, the Lord-
has been born tonight in Bethlehem, the city of David!”
the angel was joined by a vast host of others
-the armies of heaven-
“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and peace on earth to all whom God favors.”
Luke 2:10-11,13-14 NLT
May your Christmas be blessed with hope and peace!