One of the most shocking realizations of adulthood was that bad things and good things happen at the same time. Joy and tragedy can strike simultaneously leaving us swimming in a sea of all the emotions. This year started out with the death of my grandmother. She was old which means we had many years and experiences together and I miss her. The same week that she passed I was offered my dream job and four months later my son was born. Due to complications I was hospitalized for a week. The joy got all jumbled in the pain.
When I think about the loss and pain I experienced coupled with the stress of our ever widening divide as a country and a Church, I am tempted to get on the "Good riddance 2016- you were terrible to us" bandwagon. I loved the John Oliver season finale* as much as the next person. But then I remember Sam was born in 2016. This year brought us Lucas, my nephew. In 2016 I reconnected in Latin America. There has been light in the darkness.
This is our privilege, to bear witness to the Light in the midst of darkness. In Advent we once again celebrated that Christ has come. The Light has arrived and in him there is no darkness.
So as the anniversary of my grandmother's death approaches, as the inauguration draws near, as 2017 awaits us tonight, I will hold up these little lights of mine and boldly march forward. Come what may, I am prepared. The Light has come.
The Sixth Day of Christmas- December 31
Reflection from "When the Time Was Fulfilled"
"Whoever expects Christ will experience the Savior, whether he lives or dies. There is thus no such thing as death where God’s kingdom is concerned. It is not a matter of wanting to leave the world behind; the one who wants to forsake the world abandons God’s will. It is for this reason that God binds Abraham to his people, so to say, and his people to Abraham- they are bound together forever, down here on the earth. It is extremely important that the work of preparing the way is already undertaken on earth; it is not heaven that needs to be conquered but the earth. Would that we were all ready to focus on this divine goal!
We must ask ourselves therefore the question: ‘What more has to happen? What must be done today? What can we do to bring about change?’ We should not be content with a formalized religion; we must take practical steps toward certain goals-toward a radical change of our present society. Humankind has to change now, for Christ is born.
It’s all very nice to sing our songs of praise and feel holy, but this is not the issue. No, it is a matter of picking up the threads so that the fabric of God’s history can further develop. Our task is to find out what we should do for God.”
- Christoph Blumhardt