In the season we just observed referred to as Christmas, we celebrated the birth of this promised Holy child, Emmanuel, with humble prayers of thanksgiving & joyous songs of praise, for as was foretold, unto us a child was born, a son was given & we call Him Emanuel.
The seasons of the year seem to come & go rapidly, especially as we get older don’t you think? Each season brings with it special events containing special meaning, symbols & familiar ways of observing & celebrating the particular occasion, in either secular ways or in spiritual ways. In general, secular observances tend to focus on vacations & celebrations, parties, parades etc., that speak to the events created in the culture, past & present. Usually, these celebrations only last a short time & though they may build some new memories they rarely impact our lives in the long run. Spiritual observances on the other hand, tend to focus on God’s presence with us, past, present, & future. These spiritual observations & subsequent celebrations are generally built on long standing events involving the faith of our various religious traditions that we have read about or experienced & the effect they have on us as we continue to grow closer in our faith walk with God. They generally are unfolding events that often awaken & shape our faith.
Christmas is the spiritual season we just recently observed & celebrated. This season began with a four-week season referred to as Advent, which focused on the theme of anticipation & hopefulness as the people of faith gradually & increasingly prepared their hearts to receive the coming of “Emmanuel”, (which means God with us in the flesh) as foretold by the prophets. As we read in the book of Isaiah, “Emmanuel”, would be fully human & fully Divine & would come into the world as the exclusive & inextinguishable source of spiritual light, bringing the new light of justice, righteousness, equity, healing, salvation, & peace to all people & the Spirit of the Lord would rest upon Him. In the season we just observed referred to as Christmas, we celebrated the birth of this promised Holy child, Emmanuel, with humble prayers of thanksgiving & joyous songs of praise, for as was foretold, unto us a child was born, a son was given & we call Him Emanuel.
We are now currently in the season referred to as “Christmas-Tide”, which is a time following the observance & celebration of the birth of the Holy Child, Emmanuel, when we reflect on the various ways the Christmas observances affect our lives. The book of John, chapter 8:12, records that when Jesus spoke to the people He said; “I am the Light of the World. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” The metaphor used by the Lord in this verse speaks of the spiritual light that is given through: His life, His truth, His Word, & the Light of eternal Life. Those who perceive the true Light will never walk in spiritual darkness but will have the Light of the Holy Spirit to light & guide their way as they grow in their faith, walking ever closer to God.
~Posted by Rev Kathryn Bindig, MDiv. MS; Pastoral Care Minister with assistance from Rich Muscatello; Director of Business Development & Strategy
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