December 14, 2010

Good morning!  What a stormy day!
Today’s Readings: Psalm 33, Isaiah 9:2-7, 2 Peter 1:12-21

Tomorrow I get to go to a gathering where there is something being done that I think will be brilliant.  Instead of a white elephant gift exchange or an ornament exchange (which I have to say I love both) we are doing an exchange of organizations.  We all will bring an envelope with an organization that we care about.  Then we will draw envelopes from the stack.  Whichever organization we get, we will be donating to that organization.  So the group gets to express who they care about and donate as our gift to one another.  How cool is that? 

As I prepare for my contribution to the group I start thinking about all of the organizations that I really care about!  I think to myself about all the wonderful organizations that I have been involved with through the years the wonderful work each one of them is doing during this season.  Some are taking care of animals, some are taking care of teenagers and some are taking care of adults.  Some provide food, shelter, job application help, homework help, life skills, and clothes.  Some are staffed with larger staffs, smaller staffs, staffs in between.  Some I have been on boards of or are currently.  You get the idea.

I would love to hear from you which organizations tug at your heartstrings this season.  Because all of this is reminding me about another part of this season that we need not forget….the whole giving thing.  Now, many many people get a bit carried away with this to the point that it is stressful instead of joyful.  For me, there is something about shopping for people and not feeling pressure to just get an object but something they may enjoy.  I like to be responsible in my giving…looking for green objects or even used gifts for people that would like that.  But the kind of giving I am highlighting today is giving to the community.  As Mother Teresa put it, “If you can’t feed a hundred people, just feed one.”  All it takes is to reach out to one person to transform community and bring light to another human being.

Today’s passage in Isaiah starts with “Those who have walked in darkness have seen a great light.”  Part of walking out into the darkness is to find people walking right alongside you.  Part of wandering around in our darkness is realizing that you are not alone in it.  Others can bring you light and in turn you bring your glimmer of light.  Part of walking in the deep darkness is coming out of it to find out how to be in community yet again.  Giving of ourselves helps us to do this.  Giving in healthy ways helps us to see that I child will be born and the world will transform. 

How will you give today?  Where will you give today?  Will it be recognizing another person in your darkness and bringing light in conversation?  Will it be writing out a check to your favorite organization? Will it be signing up for an extra shift at that organization?  Will it be sending a note to someone you have been thinking about lately?  Someone else walking in darkness? 

And for me, when I read the Isaiah passage, the song “For unto us a Child is born” has gotten stuck in my head.  At first I was annoyed but now, it is a constant reminder of what is to come and its not so bad…so peace with you, you giver of life for unto us a child is born.  You who have walked in darkness have seen a great light.  Amen.



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