Beauty is God’s will for His creation. God calls us to be ambassadors of His Grace as we encounter one another. That is our calling. Reflecting God’s Grace brings beauty, healing & peace to the universe.
Life is complicated don’t you think? Sometimes we are able to see & experience the pure beauty of being alive & we feel holy joyful, grateful, hopeful, energized & purposeful. And then other times we experience & see unavoidable tragedy & we suffer & lose our sense of meaning, belonging & purpose in life. As our life experiences seem to shift between beauty & suffering, upon occasion, it can be a challenge to understand exactly what the ultimate meaning of this life we have been given is. That is especially true when we are experiencing suffering, be it caused by: serious illness, grief, loss, injustice, loneliness, betrayal, etc.
The Bible tells us that through God’s steadfast love for all creation He has given us the freedom to choose how we will live amidst the beauty & the suffering we encounter through our living. Though we have been given a choice of how we will live & receive the beauty & suffering of life, God walks with us through our life, guides us & awakens us in a wide variety of ways to feed our faith & to help us chose how we will experience & participate in the ultimate meaning of the life He gives us. It is up to us what we chose to do as we move through our days.
The month of January is known as the month of new beginnings. We have all just journeyed through the four weeks of Advent, which in the Christian faith is known as the season of preparation for the fulfillment of the new thing that God is about to do. Following Advent, we stepped immediately into the observance & celebration of Christmas, the fulfillment of God’s promised gift of the birth of “Emmanuel”, God with us. On Christmas Eve, we stepped into Christmas as if through our four weeks of Advent we had arrived to the point of being fully prepared to receive & live into God’s gracious gift of His Son, given for us. And now in this first secular month of the year, we step into a New Year as if the former year is past & we were not affected by it & are prepared to live into a new year.
Traditionally, many people make resolutions of how they will live at the start of the new year, committing themselves to change some way they have been living. When I think of the word resolution, I think of a firm decision to act & to live differently based on some deep sense of purpose a person has come to, after some life altering event or awareness. When you think of it, what is more life altering then the birth of our Savior? So, the question is, what resolution, what unwavering commitment will we make to our way of living as we step into this new year, that will contribute to preparing the way for God’s promise to be realized & thus live into the healing of all of creation?
The question believers are faced with, is how can we save & continue to grow & develop our key values & pass on the sacred stories & celebrations that were given to us to feed us through life & to light our way in a world, that through a changing culture, dilutes the traditions & blurs the Holy liturgy of our lives?
As you step into this season of the celebration of God’s presence with us & the Light given that will bring new life & wholeness to this broken world, we invite you to pause & give thanks & praise to God the giver of all life.
Life through all its stages of development, is full of challenges, hopes & dream, as well as disappointments, fears, & joys. It is like a mosaic made up of multiple pieces, each of them full in itself, each of them a steppingstone making up the continuous lifeline we call our life. . It makes a difference how we journey through the seasons of life we are given.