I am re-submitting this because I still feel this way about our lovely congregation and community here in Alplaus!
Joy – may the New Year bring you joy – not from stuff, or even personal accomplishment – but joy that come from the fullness of life – living in the eternal grace and goodness of God.
Hope – may you live in hope – that fuels faith; trusting that the goodness the Lord has promised will indeed come to you and to all.
Peace – may we know Peace this year – not merely the absence of war and violence but God’s true Peace that accompanies Justice and Righteousness.
Love – may each heart open to the Holy to accept divine love waiting to come and dwell within each of God’s own.
These gifts: Hope, Peace, Joy and Love are the gifts we prepare for at Christmas. Sometimes we prepare and then they get lost in our busy-ness of Christmas. We know that Christmas is about Christ, his birth, the incarnation. We know that the season is filled with gifts and goodies. Remember that among the many gifts you gave and received this year – do not forget to open and accept these gifts as well. And because it is still Christmas (for a few more days) and this is the new year, I’ll close with the last verse of one of my favorite new Christmas Carols: (TFWS #2095) Hope for Peace Child, God’s stupendous sign, down to earth Child, star of stars that shine, This year, this year, let the day arrive when Christmas comes for everyone, everyone alive!