So this is Christmas… is it? My life used to run on the calendar. School starting, moves toward Halloween, to Thanks… but now everything ends in a question mark. School? Halloween? I have become an expert at rapid at home covid tests. Waiting fifteen minutes to see blue lines… like a pregnancy test of doom. One where the family won’t be gathering.

Einstein thought time’s relativity was based on speed. He didn’t account for the pandemic variable. A time that never ends. Because the pandemic keeps showing up, like Cousin Eddie to fill our sewers. Go ahead, vaccinated guy, take your masks off… Delta … go ahead, vac… Omicron. Okay, we don’t know if this variant will be bad yet. But it sure sounds destructive!

This IS Christmas… in a world of uncertainty. I am hopeful for the lights, the cookies, tree, and gatherings of joy. While those may end in a question mark, they point to something better – we are not alone. Christmas is the epicenter of this truth. We are not abandoned. God broke through to help us. And continues to walk with us.

I lean into this peace. A world in need is not alone. When Omicron (or whatever darkness) demands a seat at the table, Jesus is already there. Not to take away our problems, but to walk with us through the fire. To hold our hand.

24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, “Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?” They replied, “Certainly, Your Majesty.”

25 He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.” (Daniel 3)

This Sunday is the Second Sunday of Advent. These four weeks are to prepare for the Advent (“arrival”) of Jesus. This week we light the candle of peace and encounter the story of Jesus’s escape to Egypt. He lived without peace, to join us. I hope you will be with us at 10:30, in person or streaming live on Facebook and Youtube.

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