Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas!

Last year, in my Christmas post, I mused that, even in the darkest world, there is hope and love. 2017 has been evidence of that for me. This has been a long, hard year for us in a plethora of ways. And yet, I am much more hopeful than I was a year ago.

It's a beautiful thing to feel this time of year. I'm sure the days leading up to that first Christmas did not feel very hopeful. Personal upheaval and political oppression were certainly at the forefront of Mary's mind as she traveled to Bethlehem with Joseph. I imagine she cursed the Romans a few times under her breath as she rode a donkey across the country at nine months pregnant just to be counted in a census. And I have no doubt they had some thoughts when they got to town and found no rooms available. Had they had to make too many bathroom stops for the pregnant lady? Or maybe one of them was chronically late and they didn't leave Nazareth when they planned. Whatever the reason, they must have felt exhausted and at the end of their rope.

And then....

Hope. Joy. Life.

The world didn't see it that night. Jesus did not come as a political victor or a military warrior. The biggest change began in the most humble of places. That's the hope I'm leaning on this year. Change is coming from quiet conversations, silent acts of kindness, the daily grind of hard work toward equality. Change starts small because it starts with a change in each of us and what we prioritize. Even the world-altering change Jesus brings begins in individual hearts and lives.

I hope that this Christmas you find hope in the small change.

I hope you feel safe and valued.

I hope the hurt in your heart, whatever it is, feels smaller than the love.

I hope this coming year is life-giving and shapes you into an even better version of yourself.

And, I hope you can find time and space for books at some point this season.

Merry Christmas to all!

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