How are you feeling?

Loving God, the coming of your light into our world has brightened weary hearts with peace. Call us out of darkness and empower us to proclaim the birth of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.
— ELW, p. 20. 

In the gym the other day I overheard two women enthusiastically greet each other and ask about their Christmas celebrations. There had been drama with their children. There had been little, or appreciation for all of time they had prepared and shopped and cooked. One of the women said, “And I don’t look forward to January when the bills come to pay for all of those gifts I purchased.”

Christmas Day came and went and yet it didn’t take away the realities of cancer treatments, broken relationships, stress of family get togethers, lives lost far too early. Christmas doesn’t take away the realities of life and living. 

As we read the Christmas story the world that Jesus was born into it was a world much the same as ours—refugees fleeing Egypt, the abuse and mistreatment of innocent children, people who were sick and hurting.

Although the 12 days of Christmas are coming to a close, the gift of Christ's birth into our world is not over. God came into this world and calls us from its darkness. Amidst every challenge and change, we keep rooted in truths that we know for certain—God is with us, Emmanuel. God loves us and calls us to love others in all of the ways that are placed before us. 

Heading into 2019, I pray to listen and witness the love of Jesus for the world then and now. Will you join me? The Christmas season may be over, but Jesus' love still goes on. 

The Rev. Deborah K. Hutterer
Grand Canyon Synod of the ELCA