Devotion for Dec. 1, 2021 from Pastor Barbara Caine of Holy Redeemer:
In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. Luke 2:8-11
Today I received this photo on my phone. It’s from 2018, part of a little gift that my phone gives me from time to time. I’m eating breakfast or making my bed, or working on my computer, when I hear a little tinkling sound and there it is, a lovely photographic memory of days gone by. Today, of Advent Craft nights….
It’s a familiar kind of happening, this picturing of other times, other places. It happens every year as we celebrate the Advent, the coming of Christ. The images scroll through our minds from recent times to further back, the first Christmas with the baby, the first Christmas without Mama, the first Christmas we can remember, and then we go back further, way back, all the way back to the first Christmas, with the Christ child in a manger.
What memories did Mary and Joseph amass in their trek to Bethlehem? Were they as warm and lovely as our favorite recollections? As difficult and painful as our hardest? We don’t know, but we can imagine, because we are human, too. We need hope just as much as they did. And in that manger, there was just that, a little bundle of hope, wrapped in swaddling clothes….
I pray that this Christmas will be a time to gather more good memories and photos, but I also know that even if this is your most difficult Christmas yet, Christ has come, and hope comes with him. This world’s difficulties and happinesses come in their season, but Christ has come to conquer fear and help us know that we are loved, and cherished, and that, regardless of our circumstances, we can still love and cherish others, and make more lovely memories to grace our future.
I pray for a blessed Advent for you and yours….