We all, well, maybe many of us anticipate Christmas with the joy appropriate to the season. The smell of cookies and fir trees, the sounds of carols and bells, the sights of multi-colored lights dancing in the night...and of course, our many versions of the Christmas Manger and the churches we call home.
This year I am mindful in a new way that for some, for a variety of reasons, Christmas might be a bit more low key. The reading we hear at night from Isaiah sums it up nicely I think: "The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. Upon those who dwell in the land of gloom, a light has shone."
Some people aren't as close as they'd like to be with their families, either geographically or emotionally. Some people have loved ones in the hospital or have lost someone special in the last year or so. Some folks are just sad and this time of year is especially difficult.
What can we do to reach out to them? Sometimes all it takes is a knock on a neighbor's door, or an invite for a cup of tea. In the world of social media it only takes a few strokes of the keyboard to let someone know you are praying for their special intention. We may have no idea what the promise of a prayer to be said may mean for a soul who is suffering.
Christmas certainly is a feast of Love. What we learn is that not only is God's love abundantly generous, but that God calls us to be the same. To be free to love, to give love away...not to be stingy with our hearts.
Yes, even in the gloom, the Light that is the Christ shines and can break through the darkness. If in the next week or so, you are called to be that light for someone else, don't be shy...be generous with your love. (and your Christmas cookies!)
Let us pray for one another this Christmas season, that we will freely share the love God has given us.