Friday, December 4, 2020

The Bible has always been a love story for me. Our creation and the birth of a Savior is to me the result of God’s wanting a relationship with us…a love relationship that desires courage, compassion and connection. And when we think about these three, it comes to mind that any/every love relationship needs them as a firm, lasting foundation.
Courage is often found when forgiveness is necessary. Preparing for a study on the Prodigal Son, I found myself wondering if I would reflect the behavior of the father….would I have the courage to forgive to the depth he did?  Forgiveness often means something has to die….a hurt, a misunderstanding, anger….so that forgiveness can take its place. This is the sign of courage….the love of the father for his son, and his courage to forgive restored their relationship. Are we capable of this as often as we should be?
Compassion is found in sharing with someone when fear, or suffering, or misfortune shows up and there is a strong need to end the suffering. This is where I often find my faith takes a seat. It doesn’t solve my problems or take away occasional sorrow. But it does sit with me. It is there in comfort. Knowing my God is always there means I am never alone. 
Connection in a relationship has been defined as “an energy between people that is felt when they feel heard and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment and when they derive sustenance and strength from their relationship.” How wonderful if we could feel this in every relationship we develop! The depth of our relationship with our God is often dependent on how many times we connect and reconnect. Connections are made through worship, through Bible studies, through mission projects, through anything that confirms our relationship with God.
This Advent season may be the perfect opportunity to deepen our connections with others and with our Savior….to work on courage, compassion and connection…to remember the night when a birth changed our lives forever.
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, as we experience this Advent season with feelings of wonder and gratefulness for the love given to us through the birth of your Son, watch over us as we continue to grow closer to you and to those you’ve placed in our lives as reminders that you are God and God alone. In Christ’s name we pray.  Amen

Barbara Schneider
St. John's Ivyland
820 Almshouse Road
Ivyland, PA 18974
Rev. Brad Leight, Pastor