The Scripture REadings for this service are:
- Psalm 121
- Isaiah 40:1-4, 11
And so what do you do when you don't feel the way the TV commercials tell you you should feel?
You give yourself permission. Life is not all joy and merry. Christmas isn't either. So we give ourselves permission to name the bittersweet, or just plain bitter, aspects of the season. And we look for comfort, for hope.
THE promise of faith is that we are not alone. In our joy and in our sorrow, in our hope and in our despair, when we are surrounded by friends and family and when someone is missing, we are not alone.
Through Isaiah we hear the promise of comfort, for our time of troubel comes to a close. THe Psalmist asks where to look for help -- and answers with God. WE are not alone. Whatever heaviness we carry into and through the Christmas Season we do not carry it alone.
ANd here is the secret, the one no TV special will tell you. The christmas story, the real one we find in Luke and Matthew, is not all joy and light either. It has people who are afraid, people who do nto know how they are going to get through. Life is not always what we want it to be. And so we give ourselves permission to lament, to name our losses, to mourn for what could have been, to acknowledge the pain. And we look to GOd for the comfort and the strength and the help to carry on.
Thanks be to GOd. In our Joy and sorrow, when the way is easy and when it is hard, Thanks be to God. Amen.