From Mourning to Joy
Ryan Pitt of Bayonne, NJ, USA
They replied, “Surely you are not also from Galilee, are you? Search and you will see that no prophet is to arise from Galilee.” -John 7:52
Christmas will be here shortly which means there\’s plenty of “searching” ahead. Best travel itineraries, housing options, recipes, pageantry, family activities, and perfect gifts. I frequently find myself caught in the commotion of Christmas festivities and lose sight of the reason to celebrate.
Surely something good can arise from chaos?
After several years of discernment, a congregation in northern New Jersey decided to sell church property in December 2019. Declining numbers and aging participants made financial sustainability unrealistic. Though it was heartbreaking, the remnant knew it was time to act.
Miraculously, the small congregation sought meaning and purpose out of emotional loss. What easily could have been a linear financial transaction was birthed into a celebration of life and memory of the property. Mourning turned to livelihood as they reconnected with members not seen in years, and memories rekindled from forgotten photo albums and stories. On Sunday, August 30, 2020-five days after the property sale finalized-the congregation led an online worship. It was a message emphasizing God’s promise of new life.
Yes, something good arose from chaos.
Honestly, I empathize with the inquisitors in John 7, especially when it comes to unexpectedness. I want to change that. This year, I want to embody the Christmas spirit, and gaze in adoration into divine mystery. O come all ye faithful! It’s time to look beyond the commotion and into the horizon of possibility.
“Trust what is being born.”
Jesus, the Peaceful One
We have spent this year with a guiding question: Are we moving closer to Jesus, the Peaceful One? As we near the end of this calendar year, we review how this question has been shaping and forming us. In our thoughts, words, and actions, have we been embodying Jesus, the Peaceful One? What might it look like to move closer to Jesus, the Peaceful One as we make space in our lives for Christ incarnate this Advent season?
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.