Hope grows when shared
From the Pastor's Desk
December 8, 2018
What do you hope for during the holidays? Have you been good? Is Santa headed your way? Or do your hopes run deep for peace and harmony in your life, your family, community, nation and around the world?
So many things to hope for, if you have hope. Many people feel hope is distant and for some it has disappeared. Rates of suicide have risen in our country in recent years. As a therapist, I know the one question that correlates best with risk for suicide is whether or not a person has hope.
I write this article today, at the beginning of Advent, the Christian season leading up to Christmas. Each of the four Sundays in December we will light a candle and meditate on a theme. The first is "Hope." The texts we read reference tough times, when hope was not apparent. We read about the Israelites who were decimated by Babylon - destroyed, yet hope is promised. There will be new life rising up from the rubble. We also read about Jesus' followers, set in a time when powerful Rome ruled and persecuted early Christians, including Jesus. Ancient people understood fear and terror - things not going so well. Yet in the midst of serious suffering, hope is kept alive and kindled.
We can't get to "Joy to World" without some awareness of the pain and suffering that so many around us live with. Yet, this season, many folks will try to shine light and love into the lives of people who need it most. Elders, the disabled, children, animals and others may get special assistance and ironically, those of us who reach out will certainly receive more than we give. Hope, like love, is limitless - it grows when shared and it increases our own stores of it.
Your seeds of hope are within you. You may not feel it at times, but they are there. Imagine them, breathe into them - feed them - give them room in your heart to grow. Don't let others scare you into thinking that hate and terror will win. Hope and love are much more powerful.
Come and sit with others who are meditating and growing their hope. My favorite Christmas service is when we do a children's pageant. There's something about the little glittery angels, the shepherds, sheep and kids dressed like a camel that fills my heart with tremendous hope for our world. Our pageant will be Sunday, Dec. 16 at 10:30 a.m. and all are welcome to be touched by this age-old story of a helpless tiny baby bringing love and hope.
May Your Advent Be Blessed,
About Tehachapi Community Church, UCC:
No matter who you are, no matter where you are on life's journey, you're welcome here!
The Tehachapi Community Church, UCC is an open and welcoming community of faith that believes that each person, created in the image of God, holds a piece of the truth. Therefore we respect each person's unique spiritual journey. We invite you to experience the difference that religious freedom in a caring community can make in that journey.
We are located at 100 East E St., in Tehachapi. Worship and Sunday School are at 10:30 a.m. on Sundays. Please join us for coffee and fellowship at our Friendship Hall after worship (approximately 11:30 a.m.).
All are welcome.