It’s the first week of February and my Christmas tree is still up! It usually gets packed up around the week after New Year’s Day, but I haven’t been in much of a hurry this year. Every evening I enjoy seeing the multicolored lights and the familiar ornaments that have graced our tree for years. When I snuggle into a cozy spot to read, I position myself across the room so that all I need to do is lift my eyes to glance at the colorful flecks of light.
There is comfort in familiar routines, rituals, and rhythms as we encounter changes, detours, and challenges in life. This past Christmas, our church encouraged each other to “shine bright.” The light of Christ entered the world with a brilliant love bursting upon us like the blazing sun or whispering in a tiny twinkle of light breaking through even the most difficult times.
As we carry the light into 2021, how will we shine? Ephesians 5:8-9 teaches: “For once you were darkness, but now in the Lord you are light. Live as children of light—for the fruit of the light is found in all that is good and right and true.” Stepping forward as children of light, we are to be part of what is good, and right, and true.
When we shine light on darkness, challenging truths can be exposed. As the church, we are exploring what is right and true in learning how to work for racial justice. We do this together, to be part of God’s goodness in the world as intended for all people. We call our journey toward racial equity “Together.” It is a shared commitment to love God and love neighbor fully as followers of Jesus. For more information about “Together,” including resources and sermons, please click here.
My tree will probably come down in a week or two. We’ll pack away the long-cherished ornaments and the jumbled strings of lights with a smile and with hope, knowing that in Christ the light still shines. May God bless us with strength and courage to live boldly as children of light, illuminating the realities of our world, seeking what is good, and right, and true, and with love, doing what is needed to make it so.
Rev. Patty Froehlich