Don’t know about you, but I am not particularly excited when the days get shorter. It feels that the darkness does overcome the light this time of year!
We don’t have to look too far to see the darkness… I think of our brothers and sisters baptized in the faith and under persecution in Nigeria, in Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, and North Korea, to name a few. On the Eve of the feast of St. Nicholas we lost a Father in faith, Patriarch Ignatius IV of Antioch. He was a man of great perseverance, speaking peace amid great conflict and violence. And we pray for the repose of the souls of all who perished in Connecticut.
What might we say in the face of such senseless cruelty? Maybe a good place to start is, “How long O Lord, how long?”… Psalms 13, 35, 89, 94… Seems to be a reoccurring theme! And maybe we should do this together! Praying that God the Holy Spirit would speak powerfully to His people and create the change needed in us that we might go out and change the world.
I was reminded of this by an amazing Antiochian priest. He said his Patriarch called the clergy, and all Christians, to be salt and light. And not just for one another, but the whole world. Okay, I am starting to see the light! Its a “me to we” thing happening. Maybe even incarnational! Embody the love that we see lacking in the world. I have to stop just talking about my faith! I need to live it!
So….our Sunday school sent an email to the church in Damascus as a sign of love and care. We went to pray with local Antiochian Church. We continue to pray for Christians and all that are persecuted. This is good news! And I know we aren’t finished. We need to welcome others into this Good News! Let us invite our neighbours to come pray with us at Christmas, and/or through an Epiphany party at your house. Lets all try to be the (salt and) light of Christ we are baptized into.
Live it! Tell us and the world about the Good News that is being incarnate in the life of the Church!
And by the way, its great to be back from sabbatical. That will be an post for another day. Will say that Boston is a great city!
Have a blessed Christmas!