Friday, December 23, 2011

Guiding our Way

And his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied, saying,
“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
for he has visited and redeemed his people
and has raised up a horn of salvation for us
in the house of his servant David,
as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,
that we should be saved from our enemies
and from the hand of all who hate us;
to show the mercy promised to our fathers
and to remember his holy covenant,
the oath that he swore to our father Abraham, to grant us
that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies,
might serve him without fear,
in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.
And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
to give knowledge of salvation to his people
in the forgiveness of their sins,
because of the tender mercy of our God,
whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high
to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
And the child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness until the day of his public appearance to Israel. Luke 1:67-80

Today we are on our way to celebrate Christmas with our family in Allentown. Last night we celebrated with my mother, having a wonderful seafood dinner out followed up with a driving tour of the local Christmas lights. We had discovered a one half acre lawn with every inch covered with holiday displays. Lights and inflatable ornaments of Santa and other Christmas characters. After an awe-filled few minutes we moved through local neighborhoods, seeing how people decorated, multicolored lights and ornaments beyond imagination. On the one of the shortest days of the year people were pushing away the darkness with their lights. Some were very random, some carefully planned out, but all shining brightly in the darkness. We laughed with delight and became children filled with awe as we witnessed the displays.

Our Gospel tells of the ancient promises fulfilled by John, the one who would light the way for us, and lead us to the prince of peace, the living God made flesh, bringing peace and healing to the whole world. Through ancient words, promises that once were far off come alive and true and all of the darkness and hurt that we have suffered are lifted on the wings of love. We are reminded as Christmas draws close, that the uncomfortable will be made comfortable, the hungry fed, the suffering restored to health and peace will rule our hearts and our world. Despite ugly rumors to the contrary, God proclaims to the downtrodden that peace is nearby and God is moving right now in our broken world.

Today I ask God to guide our path with light and peace, each step of the way. May our journey be a journey of the heart, seeking light in the darkness and joy despite the cold and wind that try to break us down. May we be those who seek the God of a stable, the God who lingers in the dark and scary places so all may know the light and love of God.

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