Well, Christmas Eve is over. We had our big family dinner and gift exchange to night and attended a candlelight service and heard a really good message about Joseph, and how he was a carpenter and used the proper tools not only in his trade but in his life. As I consider the preachers words, I realize that we do not know that much about Joseph other than what is recorded in the scriptures, but that we can learn a lot from how he was open to God’ leading and was willing to do what God asked of him, no matter what the consequences might be. As currently I am home alone, my son and his girlfriend are out visiting other friends, I contemplate the coming year, and pray that it is not as challenging as the last two years have been. Yet, it is through those challenges that my faith has been tested and tried and ultimately has grown stronger. I look forward to new opportunities, meeting new people, and growing my ministry to the point that it will have an impact on the community. There are still gifts under the tree that my son and I will exchange in the morning(or afternoon, depending on what time he decides to come home). The last few years that has been a special time for us. But as he grows older I see some traditions fading away opening the door for new ones to develop. I have come to accept change, I do not like change because it has been my experience that when things change I lose something in the process that has become valuable to me. I will now share one thing that happened to my family last year on Dec 22. My daughter was expecting a child to be born in January, on Dec 22 we lost that child. A beautiful baby girl. The autopsy was inconclusive and there was no apparent medical reason for the child not to have survived. My daughter was in the hospital last Christmas Eve, well she has never missed a Christmas Eve service in her life- the hospital was kind enough to let us use the chapel and I conducted a communion service. Now,, before anyone gets downhearted with this sad story, let me tell you what I think my departed grad daughter is doing this Christmas. She is listening to the angel choirs singing the carols and hearing about the birth of Christ from Jesus Himself, and Joseph and Mary, and the shepherds and Simeon and Anna. And even hearing the Wise Men tell of their adventures of the journey that they undertook to come and worship the Anointed One. No celebration, no worship service here on earth could ever compare to that Christmas Celebration! I noticed a medallion on shelf in my daughters living room, that had the words I used when I officiated my departed grand daughters celebration of life, the words on the medallion are” She is safe in Jesus arms”. There is no more secure place in all of creation than that. Now to the rest of the story, this gave someone the opportunity to minster to us, it was my brother was a Christmas surprise that we knew nothing about. I do not know how or where he got the money, but we all have been on tight budgets, and he had purchased a head stone for the baby. Now my daughter and I had discussed this just a few weeks ago, and she was absolutely thrilled! As was I. I usually do not share what I pray for, but this situation I had prayed for, with seemingly no answers forthcoming. And here is a gift, very unique, and a need met. This shows that God always has a surprise for us, just around the corner! In conclusion I would like to challenge everyone and myself , to be the beacon of light for Christ to a world that is walking in darkness.
2The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.