We find ourselves in December and in the middle of the season of Advent. In Advent we wait for the coming of Jesus and the expectation that Christ will be reborn in our hearts. As we wait with expectation, we celebrate Peace, Joy, Hope and Love. This is a special time in the church year as we celebrate the new beginning of Christ.
As I ponder new beginnings, I'm reminded of the new beginnings Melissa and I had as new parents. Yes, there was indescribable joy and happiness, but also many sleepless nights and restless days. New beginnings can be like that, often bringing stress, agitation, financial burdens, and additional tasks to name a few. Advent, a time for renewed hearts can easily become about expectations of gifts, decorations, baking, visiting Santa, etc. But it also can bring about generosity, family gatherings and compassion in those that are not regularly practicing those things.
I also want to acknowledge that the season of Advent and eventually Christmas is also a depressing time for some. There are many circumstances that lead to this time of hope, peace, joy, and love to be considered instead as despair, turmoil, sadness and loneliness. There are many people who are grieving the absence of people in their lives that would otherwise be present. There are many people going through financial struggles that a Christmas meal, let alone any sort of gift make this season a season of struggle.
I want you all to know that I am with you in this journey, wherever you find yourself in this season of Advent. I am here with you in your joys and celebrations, I am here in your lowest of moments, and I am with you to remind you that waiting the rebirth of Christ in our hearts is why we break out the candles, the banners, the Christmas trees and our generosity to those who need it.
And I always am going to remind you that we remember Christ’s new beginning and celebrate our continued journey together. And in the spirit of the season, we must share the Good News with all who will hear.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from my family to yours!
With the Greatest of Hope!