Today's Lectionary Text
The people who walked in darkness
The words of the prophet Isaiah remind us today to be filled with hope and joy for what will be. It is easy for us to get bogged down by the way the world is around us, especially since newscasts focus more on the violence and brokenness in our world than on the places of goodness and love. Chapter 9 depicts images of walking in the light (think of the brightest, most intense sunshine!), joy being increased, reduction of burdens, and the end to discord and war.
How is this redemption of the land and people to come about? By the birth of a child who will “establish and uphold [his kingdom] with justice and righteousness ...” I don’t know about you, but I think it is safe to say that this kingdom was going to be many years down the road as a child is pretty powerless. Isaiah isn’t promising that things will change immediately, but that change can occur in very unexpected ways. Who would expect a child to be able to change the world?
But the words we use and ideas we fixate on matter. Years ago, I was told that I was too hopeful, but I would rather fill my thoughts with hopeful and hope-filled words and images than words of despair and images of chaos. It is when I believe deep within me that the world truly can be different that I can begin to live into that difference each day and even be willing to be part of the transformation.
May these words of Ann Weems be your prayer of hope, justice, peace and love as you wait for what is yet to come.
Christmas comes every time we see God in other persons.
The human and the holy meet in Bethlehem or in Times Square,
for Christmas comes like a golden storm on its way to Jerusalem – determidly, inevitably…
Even now it comes in the face of hatred and warring –
No atrocity too terrible to stop it,
No Herod strong enough, no hurt deep enough,
No curse shocking enough, no disaster shattering enough ---
For someone on earth will see the star, someone will hear the angel voices,
Someone will run to Bethlehem, someone will know peace and goodwill:
The Christ will be born! (from “Reaching for Rainbows” by Ann Weems)
Hallelujah and Amen.
-Rev. Nancy Lambert
Director of Clergy Excellence/Assistant to the Bishop
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