Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Solstice, Advent and New Year all offer hope

As the end of the year nears, once again I look back at and consider the things which have happened here at The Gathering.

This year has been most trying, and without a question the single most difficult year of my life, which is saying a lot for those who have walked with us through the last 5 years.  Yet on the other hand, it has proved itself to be a fruitful, and faithful year as well.  How these elements of opposite value can trend together I am not sure, but this is not the first year I have seen struggle and blessing go hand in hand.

The fact that the Winter Solstice, the Advent and the coming of a New Year are positioned so close to one another is the perfect alignment for rethinking life.  The Winter Solstice marks the ending of shortening days and lengthening darkness.  This night points us toward Spring, new life, and dawning of longer periods of light.  It is a birth of hope.  The Advent calls us to consider the place of God in our hearts, and reveals the deepest place of God's interaction with humanity.  It is a second birth of hope.  The New Year completes the passage of a season of life, and enlivens our hearts with the potential for new things.  It is a third birth of hope in this short period of only a handful of days.

How will you re-position your life in order to take full advantage of the grace afforded us in changing seasons?  This is a question I ask myself for this coming year.  May the Lord bless us both with the proper response to this season of transition.

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cern said...

This is a time for deep reflection as well as hope for the future. Your post captures that wonderfully. May 2011 bring you abundant blessings dear brother. :)

oklasinger said...

I should hope that the time I spent in Salem this summer was a part of the lessons God gives us to consider how fruitful struggles and sacrifices can be. I end this year on the same note but thanks for the words I may not hear within me at this time. To all may the Gift of a new life be born in a manger and continues thru the love of we receive without asking.

Pastor Phil said...

Thanks Mike. Blessings on you too.

Pastor Phil said...


It was more than a wonderful blessing to have you here during the summer. Missing you greatly. Blessings to you and your family.

Pastor Phil