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In the Advent-like darkness of death, suffering, and separation from the Pandemic many of us are looking for hope? For healing? For the ending of a horrible disease that has deafened our senses? To see the light? To hear Holy Hope amidst the clatter of the struggles we and others are facing.
Sometimes we are drawn to beacons of light-filled hope when things are the darkest. We see the stars in the heavens when the skies are the darkest. Don’t we? Inexplicably, we find ourselves drawn closer to God the farther away we feel He is from us.
In the darkness of Covid 19, we have lost so much. I did with polio. We have also gained a lot in the Pandemic as I did from polio. With God’s help in the dark times and living a life with my disabilities I have been able to more clearly see, hear, touch, and feel joy, light, hope, and most importantly, love.
How many of you, like me, had unbridled anticipation and wonder as a child waiting for Santa to arrive and leave presents under the Christmas Tree?
How many of you, like me, found joy in singing Christmas carols at church or going door to door in your neighborhood to share the gift of God’s peace and joy in song during the holidays?
How many of you, like me, felt that you were safely held in the arms of God when you attended Christmas Eve or Christmas Day church services? In addition to the birth of Christ, child-like mystery and wonder had a secure place in the manger of my heart. Yours too, I imagine.
Thanks to the Grace of God and the talents of scientists around the world, hope is at hand. Amazingly, in less than a year, we have multiple vaccines against Covid 19 being administered.
On December 21st, another source of light, the Great Conjunction, will occur when Jupiter and Saturn align in the night sky for the first time in nearly 400 years. Will we be witnessing the Christmas Star? The one the Three Wise Men saw more than 2000 years ago to guide them to the stable in which God’s Eternal Life and Hope for us was born? Or possibly the Great Conjunction may be the intersection of astronomic reality and our faith in God?
Another source of light for me and millions of others is the movie, Polar Express. At the end of the movie the Hero Boy who had become an older man said, “….at one time, most of my friends could hear the bell. But as years passed, it fell silent for all of them. Even Sarah found, one Christmas, that she could no longer hear its sweet sound. Though I have grown old, the bell still rings for me. As it does for all who truly believe.”
Many of you have young children and grandchildren who still hear the Christmas Bell. During the Pandemic, many of you may have either lost or have greater difficulty hearing the sounds of joy and wonder. In seeing light. In believing in wonder, mystery, and hope.
With prayer, love, and aging I can still hear the Christmas Bell. As I witness millions of men and women across America and the world receive Covid-19 vaccinations. As I look up at the Great Conjunction on December 21st. As I think about the Hero Boy who never outgrew the ability to hear the Bell, I reflect on God’s Words.
….. but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
God, in prayer, please help us know that in times of darkness and light we are always safely held in Your Loving Arms.
God, in prayer, please safeguard our ability to hear the voices of Your angels and the ringing of Christmas bells in our hearts.
God, on Christmas Day may we hear Your proclamation that in You and Your Son, Jesus Christ, peace, love, wonder, hope, and life never die. Amen
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Jack H. Emmott is a Senior Counsel of Gray, Reed & McGraw, LLP, a 145-lawyer full-service firm in Houston, Dallas, and Waco, Texas, a Board-Certified Family Law and Master Credentialed Collaborative Law Professional Divorce Attorney, Mediator, Author, Entrepreneur, and Inspirational Speaker. For more information about Jack or his latest book, Bending Angels: Living Messengers of God’s Love, go to the www.BendingAngel.com website.