A quick message this Christmas morning from West Newbury Vermont. The picture above is from a chilly dawn this morning at sunrise, looking across the “Upper Connecticut river valley looking into the White mountains in New Hampshire. This beautiful village has meant a lot to Jennie and her family for decades, and I have had the chance to get to know it since I was welcomed into this family almost 40 years ago. Last night, at the village church (built in 1832, pictured below) we attended a wonderful and moving Christmas Eve service where Jen’s father lead the music and her sisters and nieces sang as part of the service.
It was a lovely, poignant, and moving night and the pastor shared a homily that really touched my heart. He reminded all of us that Christmas isn’t a single day, but actually a season of twelve days (remember the “partridge in a pear tree??”) where we get the chance to slow down and reflect that this season, regardless of your specific religious beliefs or traditions, is a time for hope, peace love and renewal for all. A time for all of us to realize how fragile life truly is, and how the world, our communities, our families and ourselves all need more love, peace and hope in our lives and especially in these challenging times…. we have the chance to use this “season” to find that path for “renewal” in our relationships broadly, and as I often quote from Dr. martin Luther King Jr.,
I refuse to accept the idea that the isness of man’s present nature makes him morally incapable of reaching up for the oughtness that forever confronts him.
I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas, filled with the "oughtness" that lies in front of all of us, and a season filled with hope, peace, love and renewal!