Dear Members and Friends,
“Remove every obstruction from my people’s way.” (Isaiah 57: 14) Have your personal obstacles been removed? Is there joy in your heart? Have things that you can hold brought you this joy? Have you received the gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh? Not until I was older did I even smell frankincense and myrrh. What is special in one age may not be precious in this age. However, what is treasured by the new family of three, Mary, Joseph, and Jesus is that the shepherds came with their sheep, the angels with the music, the wise ones with their treasures, and the star with its bright, directional light.
Today, when a newborn arrives parents look into the eyes of this tiny new life and see the beauty that God has made. They see the possibilities of a bright, new future and glow in the hope that this infant can choose to become anything under the sun. Once a year, we celebrate the miracle of birth to remind us that there is hope in the midst of confusion, despair, and warring fractions in our world. “(We) take comfort, and remove sorrow far from (us), for sorrow has destroyed many, and no advantage ever comes from it.” (Ecclesiasticus 30: 23) We take comfort in knowing that one child can save the world from destruction. One begotten child, Jesus, from God is with us to infuse in us the everlasting, guiding light towards peace. Hope and peace may seem like archaic words like the presents of the Three Kings of frankincense and myrrh. What is this hope and peace that we speak about in a book written before any of us were born? How would you describe hope? How do you feel when you describe it? Hold onto that feeling and write it down as soon as you can. Keep that piece of paper with you and let it be your hope for the year. Let the description of your hope change with the seasons but keep it alive in your heart and see how your outlook in life changes. See how the word “peace” takes on new meaning. Peace with the guidance of hope can be an agent for change in your life. Like hope, the description of peace is unique to each person. God have given you the intellect to search for this peace and the body to start the process. Allow the light of God to enter into your being. “For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.” (Psalm 36:9) Guided towards the spirit of peace, let us be fortified with a feast of hope in body, mind and spirit. God is ever-ready to replenish this feast for us. “For thus says the high and lofty one who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with those who are contrite and humble in spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite.” (Isaiah 57: 15)
May the light of the Holy Spirit bring you hope, joy and peace. May peace be an active part of your life. May you delight in hope this year and may it feed your soul! Give yourself the gift to keep your eyes open to the innocence around you. May the love renewed in us through the birth of Jesus create in each of us the spark of peace for the whole year to come. Let us plan to enjoy this year and then expect the gift of good things to happen! Happy New Year!
Believing in active peace,
Rev. Michelle Wiltshire-Clement