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Live in Joy … Act in Hope

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“The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom;
like the crocus it shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice with joy and singing.”
–Isaiah 35:1-2a

For the last many years at Christmas, I have pulled out a book of poems I have on my bookshelf. One of the poems is written by Maya Angelou and was read by her at the lighting of the National Christmas Tree in Washington DC in 2005. Part of the poem reads, “Into this climate of fear and apprehension, Christmas enters, streaming lights of joy, ringing bells of hope and singing carols of forgiveness high up in the bright air…Hope is born again in the faces of children. It rides on the shoulders of our aged as they walk into their sunsets. Hope spreads around the earth, brightening all things, even hate…In our joy, we think we hear a whisper. At first it is too soft. Then only half heard. We listen carefully as it gathers strength. We hear a sweetness. The word is Peace.”

We live in times of uncertainty and fear, yet as people of faith we are inheritors of the promise that someday all people will know the peace and fullness of God’s love. Mindful of that promise, may we live each day not afraid, but holding to the certainty of the assurance and promise of God’s love made visible in a manger in Bethlehem.

May we then live in joy and act in hope; and may the whispers of joy around us this Christmas gather strength until we feel God’s peace.

Merry Christmas!!