Home for the Holidays
“In My Father’s House are many rooms… and I go there to prepare a place for you, that where I am, you may be also.” — The words of Jesus from the Gospel of John, Chapter 14
The classic Christmas tale “The Little Match Girl” by Hans Christian Andersen is a sad story, yet the light of hope still burns brightly for the forlorn little waif who desperately misses her grandmother during the holiday season. All alone in the bitter cold of night just before the new year, she strikes match after match and each one warms her heart as well as her hands. We read:
“Still the lights of the Christmas tree rose higher and higher. She saw them as stars in heaven, and one of them fell, forming a long trail of fire.
"Now someone is dying," murmured the child softly; for her grandmother, the only person who had loved her and who was now dead, had told her that whenever a star falls a soul mounts up to God.
She struck yet another match against the wall, and again it was light; and in the brightness there appeared before her the dear old grandmother, bright and radiant, yet sweet and mild, and happy as she had never looked on earth.”
Not everyone is full of cheer during the holidays. Dealing with the death of a loved one, facing life after divorce or separation, coping with the loss of a job, living with cancer or some other disease that puts a question mark over the future, and a number of other human situations make parties and joviality painful for many people. But there is always light and hope for people living through dark times.
The Geminid meteor shower is filling the evening sky with lights this week. It will last until the 16th. At its peak, you may see up to a hundred shooting stars an hour. Why not take time to go outside this evening, to look up and discover a hundred bright reasons to find hope at this time of year.
You are invited to a Blue Christmas service at Harbor Church on Dec. 21, at 5 p.m. Come and listen to some great blues music by Cameron Greenlee. Come and openly acknowledge where you really are. Come and find warmth of heart, comfort and hope. This special service falls on the Winter Solstice, and is designed to bring light on the longest night of the year.
No one knows for sure what the life after this life may be. The facts will always be inconclusive. Faith is required. Yet faith never supplants reason; reason supplements faith by providing a rational basis for believing in something more. The miracle of the incarnate essence of God in the Christ Child is just the beginning of a reasonable belief in the hope of life eternal.
We won’t all be home for the holidays, but the hope of Christmastime is that someday we will all be together again once more.
May you find hope and holiday blessings wherever you are.