December 14, 2021
By Pastor Jeff Fox-Kline
Is there anything like Christmas lights?
I’m always struck by the way the world seems different when the lights are strung, on the tree or in the yard. They are such small things. Individually not much of anything. But when they’re together, they become something whole. And when they come together as a whole, they become part of a tapestry of a neighborhood. Driving around the city becomes joyful. It lifts my eyes and is a reminder that we are in this together.
I remember feeling that way a while ago at the onset of the pandemic. I would take walks around the neighborhood, but it felt different. It felt abandoned and empty. Those times when we would see someone were a chance for anxiety, not joy. But people still found ways to share joy. Hearts in the windows reminded us that we were still there. Encouraging signs showed that life was persistent. And for me, my walks were always made most special when we would come across a chalk obstacle course. It’s such a small gift to give a person, the enjoyment of a few seconds of hopscotch, or a twisty path to tightrope walk on. Such a small gift. But I saw the joy it brought and the light that it brought. The little things, individually not much of anything. But when all of this combined it became a tapestry of a world that wasn’t over yet.
I remember walking through the woods near my house as the trillium started to bloom. And the flowers were beautiful. But what drove it home for me was the carpet of trillium, the beauty of the white petals standing stark against the deep green foliage, like stars on the ground. The little things are wonderful, but when combined they transcended their limitations and showed the beauty of creation in a new way.
You are the light of the world.
We had our Blue Christmas service this past Sunday. As part of the service, we placed rocks into a vase. The rocks represent a burden that we have been bearing. When we placed the rocks into the vase we were not erasing or destroying those burdens, but we were sharing them. We shared them together and we shared them with God. And now in that vase stands a candle on a bed of rocks, a light that stands tall as a testament to our trust in God and our hope for a new day. The individual burdens we bear are not small things, so when we share them together, bear them together and carry them for each other they become something else.
We are part of a great tapestry; a family, a neighborhood, a body. We are individuals who shine the best we can, and together be become something that we could never dream of on our own.
Pastor Jeff Fox-Kline