How Can This Be?

AnnunciationScripture Text:  Luke 1:28b-35

“Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God.


How can this be?  It is the most profound question; it is the question of faith.  It is the question that we ask when life makes no sense, when what we have planned and what we have imagined is suddenly crumbling around us and life doesn’t look like anything that we know.  We Protestants don’t often give much credence to this story, choosing instead to whisk past it to stories of mangers in the days of Caesar Augustus.  But it is so very important.  After all, as I’ve said before, God did not just drop out of the sky in the form of Jesus.  The Divine did not come into our midst in the form of a cloud, or a storm, or even, this time, a burning bush.  All of those were indeed incarnations of the Divine.  But THIS time, THIS time, God chose to come in human form, as one of us.  God chose to cross all the boundaries and be one of us.  And that takes time.  About nine months to be exact.  It also means that someone, a woman, a young woman, a woman that had her life planned, has to say “yes”.  Believe it or not, God chose not to do this alone.


So, this angel comes to this young woman.  “Mary,” the angel says, “I know this may be a little out of the box, a little hard to believe, but God has a plan for you.  Now, it’s not the plan that you imagined.  Basically, God is asking you to agree to become pregnant even though you have yet to celebrate your wedding feast.  Now, we all know that your husband, your family, and your community (not to mention generations of those who will follow you) will find this hard to believe.  The trip to have the child will be difficult.  And then when you get there, it will be as if no one has made plans at all.  (I mean, really, God asks Mary to do this.  Why did someone not think to make a reservation at the local inn?)  But, somehow, we will make it work.  And then, the child will be born into a world that will struggle to accept him.  He will live his life on the edge of society and will endure pain and suffering at the end.  You will grieve his life and you will grieve his death.  In all probability, you will never fully understand this child that you bring into the world.  And, oh yeah, you will be birthing the salvation of the world.  So, what do you think? Are we on?”


I don’t know if God planned to ask Mary.  Was she destined from birth?  Or was she the second, or the 46th, or the 8,729th person that God approached?  None of that matters.  Because God has given a part of the Godself to us.  It’s called free will.  God doesn’t push us into things.  God draws us toward the Divine, desiring that each and every child that God created and loved will choose, will choose to return to God in their own special way, will choose to respond to what God envisions he or she can do.  And so the world waits, hanging in suspended motion, eager to hear Mary’s answer.  Salvation is waiting to be.  She hesitates, not really knowing what to do or say or even think.  How can this be?  It makes no sense.  I mean, this is REALLY going to mess up my life.  But the dawn was beginning to form and Mary saw a light that she had never seen before.  For the first time, Mary knew who she was.  How can this be?  Let it be…Let it be according to thy word.


In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters.Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.


We are no different.  God approaches…over and over and over again, inviting us to dance, inviting us to live.  How can this be?  Let it be…let it be according to thy word.


The glad hosannas are no longer heard.  The shouting is over, the palms are gathered; the shadows lengthen; the plotting begins in earnest. Knowing the outcome, we come with heavy hearts.  And what do we hear?  An unchanged and unchanging message of love; God’s love, a poet’s love, a woman’s love.  God’s love, foretold by Isaiah, in the shape of a servant.  (Moira B. Laidlaw)


FOR TODAY:  Where is God calling you to go?  Who is God calling you to be?  Let it be according to thy word.


Grace and Peace,


Lowering Our Expectations

Shoes of PovertyScripture Text:  Matthew 1:18b-21

When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit.  Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly.  But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived is from the Holy Spirit.  She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”


Can you imagine Joseph’s surprise?  Good grief, what was God doing while I was busy making plans for God to come?  For generations, my people have been looking for a Savior, planning for that moment, when the King would enter triumphantly.  What were we expecting?  Well, of course, we were expecting someone obvious, someone  who would make himself known in the world, someone who is a little bit better than you or I.  We were expecting power and might and grandiose presentation.  But instead God walked into our very human existence.  God traversed time and space and the perceived separation between the sacred and the ordinary and entered our everyday world.  On some level, that bothers many of us.  After all, we are trying to do BETTER than this; we are aspiring to be more than human.  What in the world is God doing messing around in the muck of this world?


Pierre Teilhard de Chardin said that “by virtue of the creation and, still more, of the Incarnation, nothing here below is profane for those who know how to see.”  So, perhaps God came into this very ordinary world to show us the holiness that has been created, the sacredness that in our worldliness, we were somehow missing.  Perhaps God steps into our lives to show us the depth that we haven’t dared to dig into our lives.  Perhaps God came and walked with us not to show us how to be but to show us how to see.  But when it’s all said and done, this practice we have of “looking for God” has been proven bizarre.  After all, it was never God that was lost!  We were never separated from the sacred; we just missed seeing it because it wasn’t what we were expecting.  So, again, what were we expecting?  Maybe the the whole lesson is that God will come when and where and in the way that God will come.  But if there’s a “pattern” to be figured out about this God who cannot be figured out, it’s that God comes into the unexpected, into the unplanned, and into the unprepared places in our lives and lays down in a feed trough and patiently waits for the world to wake up and notice.


While we were busy looking up, with grand plans for “our Savior”, the God who was on “our side”, God slipped in to the bowels of the world and promised redemption for not just those who were busily looking for God, but the whole world.  The whole world?  The WHOLE world, all of Creation, all of existence.  Maybe the reason that God started where God started was that the rest of us were looking beyond where we should be looking, busily looking for someone to complete what we had started, to validate that what we were doing was right, to raise us up beyond the muck of the world.  But God, even at this moment, descends into places we would rather shake away.  While we were busy looking up, searching for the star in the sky, God descended into humanity.


Maybe we were trying to be something we were not.  Maybe we were overreaching a bit.  But God, God comes into our world not to validate us, not to complete us, but to re-create us.  God is good at starting us over, making us new, giving us eyes to see what we have been missing all along.  This human God, this God who laid down in a feed trough, this God who loves everyone humbles us at best.  Who are we that we have such lofty expectations as to think that we are beyond loving someone like us?  Who are we that we missed the holiness in front of us, the sacredness within us, the piece of the Divine that walks beside us even when we don’t notice?  Who are we that we thought ourselves capable of “finding God” without first looking for the God who is always with us, Emmanuel?  Who are we that we thought God would come in the way we expected rather than the way that we needed for Life?  Who are we that we missed our Life?  Who are we that we missed our God?  Maybe we should lower our expectations to a feed trough on the outskirts of power and strength and achievement.  Because there, not only will we find God, but the “we” that we were all along.


In this final week of Advent (WHAT?!?  THERE’S ONLY A WEEK?) , we are all busy preparing for the day of God’s coming.  But whether or not we get it done, whether or not the house is clean or the goodies are baked or the presents are wrapped, God will come and the world will never be the same.  Expectation is about moving into what will be rather than preparing for what we expect.


What wondrous Love is this, O my soul, O my soul, what wondrous love is this, O my soul!  What wondrous Love is this that caused the Lord of life to lay aside his crown for my soul, for my soul, to lay aside his crown for my soul. (USA Folk Hymn)


FOR TODAY:  Lower your expectations.  Look at your life.  Look at your self.  See the God who walks with you in the holiness of days.


Grace and Peace,



Take Joy

dancing-joyScripture Text:  Romans 16: 25-27

Now to God who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages but is now disclosed, and through the prophetic writings is made known to all the Gentiles, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith–to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever!  Amen.


The words in this short Scripture pretty much say everything.  When it is all said and done, when there is nothing else left, when you don’t know where to step next, there is God.  There is the God who came and comes and will come over and over again.  This is the God of mystery and revelation, the God of strength and gentleness, the God of what will come and what is.  Some think that it might be possible that these words that come at the end of Paul’s great treatise known as The Letter to the Romans were sort of attached later as a doxology.  It is indeed a statement of response, a doxology acknowledging what God has done and what God is doing.  It is true.  The Incarnation of God, the Coming of Jesus Christ, invokes our response, elicits something from us in response to God or, really, it would be meaningless.  As the words say, the response is our faith.  God comes not as an answer to generations upon generations of want and need; God comes as a question, an openness, to which we are asked to respond.  God comes and invites us into this mystery, to walk where we haven’t dared walk before and to know what we wouldn’t let ourselves know before.  The whole of the Gospel–the proclaimed Coming of Christ, Jesus’ birth, ministry, life, death, and resurrection–are made full by our response.  If that were not the case, the Gospel would not have continued to write itself into people’s lives.


In 1513, Fra Giovanni Giacondo, a Franciscan Friar, wrote a letter to Countess Allagia Aldobrandeschi on Christmas Eve.  Here are the incredible words:

I salute you. I am your friend, and my love for you goes deep.  There is nothing I can give you which you have not. But there is much, very much, that, while I cannot give it, you can take. No heaven can come to us unless our hearts find rest in it today. Take heaven! No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this present little instant.

Take peace! The gloom of the world is but a shadow. Behind it, yet within our reach, is joy. There is radiance and glory in darkness, could we but see.  And to see, we have only to look. I beseech you to look!

Life is so generous a giver. But we, judging its gifts by their covering, cast them away as ugly or heavy or hard. Remove the covering, and you will find beneath it a living splendor, woven of love by wisdom, with power. Welcome it, grasp it, and you touch the angel’s hand that brings it to you.

Everything we call a trial, a sorrow or a duty, believe me, that angel’s hand is there. The gift is there and the wonder of an overshadowing presence. Your joys, too, be not content with them as joys. They, too, conceal diviner gifts.

Life is so full of meaning and purpose, so full of beauty beneath its covering, that you will find earth but cloaks your heaven. Courage then to claim it; that is all! But courage you have, and the knowledge that we are pilgrims together, wending through unknown country home.


Take heaven!  Take peace!  Take joy!  It is what the words from Romans were saying.  God came and comes but God does not desire to dance alone.  The fulfillment of God’s promise, the culmination of God’s Vision of what Creation will be lies in us.  It lies in our response.  It lies in our faithful response.  Its meaning and its purpose come when we claim it for ourselves.  It lies in our stepping up and taking all of the gifts that God offers.  We must take heaven.  We must take peace.  We must take joy.  Perhaps it means that we have to lay down the things we are holding.  Perhaps it means that we have to make room.  Always it means that we respond by saying “yes” to God.  God comes toward us with arms outstretched, inviting us to dance.  God does not desire to force us into mindless obedience; God does not pick us up and carry us away to places that we do not want to go; God desires that we respond with arms outstretched and, even when our steps are faltering and filled with doubt and fear, we dance as one who has taken and embraced joy, one who has taken God into one’s life.  Take heaven! Take peace! Take joy!


Faith can be described only as a movement of flight, flight away from myself and toward the great possibilities of God. (Helmut Thielicke)


FOR TODAY:  Put down what you are holding.  Take heaven.  Take peace. Take joy.  Breathe them in and dance.


Grace and Peace,



Be a Dwelling


Making room for GodScripture Text:  Psalm 132:3-5

I will not enter my house or get into my bed; I will not give sleep to my eyes or slumber to my eyelids, until I find a place for the Lord, a dwelling place for the Mighty One of Jacob.


We don’t usually think of the Lord as having a dwelling place.  God is bigger than any structure, any way we have of limiting this limitless God, any attempt to keep the Lord within boundaries.  So, how, then, do we find a dwelling place?  How do you prepare a place for a God that cannot be held, that cannot be contained?  How do we prepare for this coming?


God came into this world when perhaps the world was not fully prepared for God’s coming.  Oh, we probably thought we were.  We had worshipped the Lord, designating altars and laying down offerings.  We had called places holy with the hopes that they might hold God for us, make God accessible.  We had made dwelling places for the Lord.  But then God came.  There were no processions of grandeur, no announcement fit for royalty.  There was no pomp.  There was no flash.  To be honest, there was no warning.  And we were not ready.  Why didn’t you tell us you were coming, so that we couldn’t have been ready?  We had not made room for God in this world.  And so God came in silence, peacefully slipping into the back corner of our world while kings and princes and priests alike made their usual noises out front.  God came.  There really wasn’t room.  And so God laid down in the darkness and made a dwelling for the Godself.  God took what was there–a little bit of hay, perhaps some cast away cloths, and a dark and dank room filled with the stench of animal dung.  And God made a dwelling.  God made a dwelling in the most primal, most humble place imaginable.  And the kings and princes and priests noisily laid down in their soft beds and went to sleep.  There didn’t seem to be any room for God.  We just weren’t prepared.  We just weren’t ready.  Maybe we just weren’t paying attention.  And so we slept.


God still comes.  Every year, every day, every moment, God comes.  God comes into this world that is probably not ready.  How do we find a place for the Lord?  How do we prepare the way?  I think the problem is that God does not show up in those things that we have built or those things that we have collected over the year.  And now that I’ve spent hours putting all those decorations all over my house, I am hit with the realization that they don’t make God come any faster.   The truth is, God probably still slips into to the dark corners of our lives, the places that are not so full of our plans and our things and our make-readies.  God is probably more likely to again show up in the primal parts of my life, those parts that are not stacked to the brim with things that I think God will like, things that make me feel like I’m ready for God, but rather in the places that I have cleared away the debris and made room.  God comes into hearts and lives that have room for God to dwell.   Oh, don’t get me wrong.  God’s deepest desire is to be everywhere, to be there for all of God’s children, to be there for you and for me.  But sometimes, there still just isn’t room.


In this Advent season of waiting and preparing, somewhere between the cheesecakes I made for yesterday’s Open House and the Christmas decorations that so brightly adorn my home, somewhere in the midst of the buying and the wrapping and the bulletin-making and the worrying, somewhere…somewhere I have to make room.  Because God wants to come.  God desires more than anything to dwell in my life.  So how do I prepare a dwelling place for God?  I clear a path.  I make room.  As the Scripture says, before we slumber, before we sleep, we make room.  We make a dwelling.  We become one with room in our lives for God to come and God to work and God to create us once again.


Making Room:  When I first met him, I knew in a moment I would have to spend the next few days re-arranging my mind so there’d be room for him to stay.  (Brian Andreas, “The Story People”)


FOR TODAY:  Make room.  Clear everything away.  Be a dwelling.  God so wants to stay.


Grace and Peace,


A Moveable Feast


Solomon's TempleLectionary Text:  2 Samuel 7: 5-7, 10-11
Go and tell my servant David: Thus says the Lord: Are you the one to build me a house to live in? I have not lived in a house since the day I brought up the people of Israel from Egypt to this day, but I have been moving about in a tent and a tabernacle. Wherever I have moved about among all the people of Israel, did I ever speak a word with any of the tribal leaders of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, saying, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?”…And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, so that they may live in their own place, and be disturbed no more; and evedildoers shall afflict them no more, as formerly, from the time that I appointed judges over my people Israel; and I will give you rest from all your enemies. Moreover the Lord declares to you that the Lord will make you a house.


Didn’t something like this happen before?  Weren’t there those way back in our history that wanted to encase God, wanted to build something so big and so grand that it would literally touch the heavens?  That really didn’t work out all that well.  And yet, David envisions now a more permanent structure to house the ark o the Lord.  In other words, David now desires to build a temple in Jerusalem.  Surely that will go better!


But that night the Lord intervenes by way of Nathan with a promise not necessarily of a permanent “house” but, rather a permanent dynasty, an everlasting house of the line of David.  David has risen from shepherd boy to king and has apparently felt God’s presence through it all.  He now sits in his comfortable palace and compares his “house” to the tent that “houses God” in his mind.  So he decides that God needs a grand house too.  God, through the prophet Nathan responds by asking, in a sense, “Hey! Did you hear me complaining about living in a tent? No, I prefer being mobile, flexible, responsive, free to move about, not fixed in one place.” God then turns the tables on David and says, “You think you’re going to build me a house? No, no, no, no. I’M going to build YOU a house. A house that will last much longer and be much greater than anything you could build yourself with wood and stone. A house that will shelter the hopes and dreams of your people long after ‘you lie down with your ancestors.'” God promises to establish David and his line “forever,” and this is a “no matter what” promise, even if the descendants of David sin, even if “evildoers” threaten.


The truth is, we all desire permanence; we want something on which we can stand, that we can touch, that we can “sink our teeth into”, so to speak.  We want to know the plan so that we can plan around it.  Well, if this was going to make it easier to understand God, go ahead.  The truth is, this is a wandering God of wandering people.  This is not a God who desires or can be shut up in a temple or a church or a closed mind.  This is not a God who desires to be “figured out.”  This God is palatial; this God is unlimited; this God will show up in places that we did not build.  (and sometimes in places that we really wouldn’t go!)  Now don’t get me wrong.  I LOVE church buildings as much as the next person.  They hold a beauty and a sacredness that is not found anywhere else.  I love grand old structures (even the one that we’re having to repair quite a bit right now).  But, really, the structures we build are not for God; they are for us.  They are built to bring us back, to bring us to a place where we realize that God was there all along, to, hopefully, re-instill some sense of awe, some sense of knowing that there is something beyond us.  Because, after all, this God does not live in a house; this God dwells with us—wherever we are.  This God comes as a traveler, a journeyer, a moveable feast.  And this God shows up where we least expect God to be—in a god-forsaken place on the outskirts of acceptable society to a couple of people that actually had other plans for their lives.  This God will be where God will be.  And it IS a permanent home.


In this Advent season, we know that God comes.  That is what we celebrate; that is what we remember; that is what we expect.  After all, this God we worship is the one that is with us, Emmanuel.  But have we perhaps confused preparing for the coming of God with planning the way that God comes?  Prepare, rather, to be surprised.  Prepare to be carried along in what is certainly a moveable feast, swept up into the building of a cathedral such that you have never seen.


God is always bigger than the boxes we build for God, so we should not waste too much time protecting the boxes. (Fr. Richard Rohr)


FOR TODAY:  How would you prepare for this moveable feast?  How do you prepare for God’s coming without making plans for how it happens?


Grace and Peace,



Be the Story


Scripture Text:  Genesis 1: 1-3, 31a

In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters.  Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light…God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good.

There is not one of us that does not love The Christmas Story.  It’s got it all–heartache, darkness, intrigue, danger, animals, innocence, an oppressive government, and a baby to boot.  It’s got all those things that make great tales.  No wonder it’s a bestseller!  No wonder there are so many songs written about it (that we at this moment cannot WAIT to sing and for some are even irritated that we are NOT!)  But for all the romantic notions of a baby born into a cold desert night in a small town on the other side of the world to poor, struggling parents, this story is not about a birth.  It’s not just a story about Jesus.  This is the Story of God.


It began long before this.  It began in the beginning.  It began when God breathed a part of the Godself into being and created this little world.  And as the story unfolded, as God’s Creation grew into being, God remained with them, a mysterious, often unknown Presence, that yearned to be in relationship with what God had breathed into being.  And once in a while, God’s children would stop what they were doing long enough to know and acknowledge the incarnations of God.  Once in awhile, they would encounter a burning bush or a parting sea or an unfathomable cloud on the top of a mountain.  Once in awhile they would stop, take off their shoes, and feel the holiness beneath their feet.  But more often than not, they struggled in darkness, they struggled in war, they struggled in oppression and injustice because they didn’t see the Light that was with them.  God called them and God sent them and some were prophets and some were wise and some were yearning themselves to be with God.  Some wrote hymns and poetry telling of their yearning and others just bowed and hoped that God would notice.


This wasn’t enough.  It wasn’t enough for the people and it wasn’t enough for God.  God yearned to be with what God had created.  God desperately wanted humanity to be what they were made to be, to come home to the Divine, to be part of the unfolding story.  And so God came once again, God Incarnate, into this little world.  But this time, God came as what God had created.  And so God was born into a cold, dark night.  But the earth was almost too full.  There was little room for God.  But, on that night, in a dark grotto on the outskirts of holiness, God was born.  The Divine somehow made room in a quiet, little corner of the world.  God came to show Creation what had been there all along.  And, yet, there was Newness; there was Light; there was finally Meaning; there was God Made Known.


The Incarnation (the “big I” one!) is God’s unveiling.  It is God coming out of the darkness and out of the shadows and showing us what we could not see before.  God became one of us to show us how to be like God in the world.  So, in this season, we again hear the story.  We hear the story of God.  But unless we realize that it is our story, it still won’t be enough.  God came as God Incarnate into this little world to tell the story that goes back to the beginning.  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God.  All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being.  What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.  (John 1: 1-5)  And the story continues…BE the Story.


God delights in the human imagination.  No one person can claim to hold the key to unlock what God intended, because what God intended was for each generation to read its story into the text.  (Sandy Eisenberg Sasso)


FOR TODAY (OR YESTERDAY!):  BE the Story.  What does that mean?  God did not come into this world so you could celebrate Christmas; God came so that you would know it is your story.  BE the Story.


Grace and Peace,




Be Light

Being LightScripture Text:  John 1:6-9

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.


John again?  John the Baptist, this brash camel’s hair-wearing, locust-eating, wilderness wandered, is back.  But here we are told that John is but a witness to something bigger, there to point to the Light of Christ that is coming.  But what makes John’s message uncomfortable is that he is always pointing to that which the light illumines.  For the writer of the Gospel According to John, the Logos was the true light bursting forth into humanity.  Rather than an angel announcing the birth of a baby, the writer is using John as a witness to point to that light as well as the purpose of that light.  We love the image of light but sometimes we are uncomfortable with full illumination.  I mean, here’s John, running around like a wild man in the wilderness preaching repentance, calling for us to change, and just being really loud.  Our reaction in this season is to respond with:  “John…shhhh!  You’ll wake the baby.”


We don’t really want to hear this during this season.  We’d rather hear the tales of a baby being born, of shepherd’s visits, of angel’s callings.  This is just too hard.  This is just too uncomfortable.  The season is just too dark for such a bright light.  So John sort of gets in the way.  And there we can’t help but look at the light.  But, good grief, it’s so bright!  How in the world can we be prepared for THIS?  Well, don’t you remember how you prepare yourself to look at light?  You prepare yourself to look at light by looking at light.  So this Light of Christ, this radiant, fully-illuminating light, has now begun to peek into our lives in the form of a witness by this wild wilderness man.  But the way that John witnessed (if you read on) was by pointing the light away from himself and toward the Light itself.  John became a reflection of the Light.  (Yeah…talking in circles again!  It’s this light thing!)


Maybe that’s it.  We are called to bask in the light and then deflect the light toward the light.  We are called to illumine the Light of Christ for the world.  We are called to be light by reflecting the Light.  And the world will never be the same.  You see, the reason that light is so incredibly uncomfortable is that, contrary to what we’d like to conjure up in our heads, this light is not warm and cozy.  It is not a light that merely adds a little needed ambiance to an already-shadowed room.  This light is BRIGHT, UNCOMFORTABLY BRIGHT.  This is the kind of light that shines into the darkest corners and then bends itself around the turn.  This is the kind of light that shines into the shadows that were trying desperately to remain hidden.  This is the kind of light that shows the hidden shadows for what they are.  Darkness cannot exist with this light.  This light casts no shadows.  This Light changes the way we see, changes the way we live.  This Light exposes the world to itself.


It is that for which we’ve been waiting.  We’ve been waiting for something to not just light our way but to illumine the darkness.  The darkness will be no more.  The Light will come.  And we, like John, are called to be witnesses to that light, to shine a light toward it.  We are called to be light, the light that shines toward the Light.  And the world will be forever different.  No longer are the shadows able to exist unnoticed.  You see, this light exposes everything for what it is.  This Light makes us realize that poverty and homelessness, violence and war, greed and injustice are not just things that exist.  This Light shines such a light that they become unacceptable, unimaginable, undone.  This is the Light that calls us to see not just a dream of the way we could be, but the notion that we are called to be nothing less.  Here’s the deal.  The baby is already awake, already basking in the Light of the Eternal.  So, we need to wake up, rub the sleep out of our eyes, and be a reflection of that light.  Be Light.


Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings when the dawn is still dark.  (Rabindranath Tagore)


FOR TODAY:  Look for the light.  Then reflect it toward the world.  Be light.  Be the Light.


Grace and Peace,