As the chilly winds blow, winter is settling in here in Virginia. 2016 is quickly coming to a close, making room for 2017. In many ways, 2017 will be a year of transition. The next president of the United States of America will be inaugurated; a new round of legislators will take their posts, and several other elected officials will assume their positions at the state and local levels.
Change can be exciting; but it is also stressful. Many people are excited and others are anxious about what change will mean for them.
For a moment, let’s move away from our own struggle to adjust to change and pay attention to the devastation some nations are enduring. According to reports, the Syrian crisis in the City of Aleppo has escalated such that millions of people’s lives are absolutely devastated in this region of the world, alone. Not to mention parts of Haiti, Japan, and other places that continue to try to recover from hurricanes and earthquakes. In addition to relief efforts and caring for wounded people, I want to encourage you to do something that makes the world of difference.
We can pray for them!
We can consider the needs such as these and open our hearts with compassion for those in our immediate circles; there are people in your neighborhood who are in need of love and compassion.
Peace gives way to violence when there is a systemic breakdown in values. But, when we do our part to contribute to upholding godly values, we help curtail some problems, and we contribute to the solution where problems already exist.
At Christmas time, many people enjoy the fairy tales of Santa Claus, put up beautiful lights and sing lovely songs that have inspired us for years. While we don’t know the exact night of Christ’s birth, we are sure that Jesus, the Christ, was born, and it was indeed a holy night!
Let’s remember, however, that Christ was born amidst a world of chaos. Additionally, only the angels sang His praises at first. No one else understood the good that was happening; in fact no one cared.
Advent reminds us that Christ was born in such a situation to bring hope to the very ones who just didn’t get it.
Jesus’ birth was the birth of divine vision of a world unrighteousness, injustice, hate, violence, and war no longer exist.
Today, Christ invites us to participate in God’s vision for the world.
When we fully embody Christ’s values, the Body of Christ becomes the solution the world needs.
Jesus is the answer for the world today!
Will you pray this prayer with me?
Come Holy Spirit; heal our world. May we embrace Christ’s values and be His presence in the world. In Jesus’ name, Amen!