Pastor’s Epistle February 2019 I’m writing this ‘epistle’ on what has been duped, ‘the coldest days for a generation!’ That’s bold! That’s cold! But then again, we are Minnesotan’s and we’re of hardy stock, or as one friend on the radio put it, ‘I can’t help it that my German, Scandinavian family settled in this area!’ Yes, and so be it! Is it that we like to complain or is it that we take great solace in knowing that there’s little we can do about it- the weather that is. Whatever it is, we can ‘take heart’ for ‘this too, shall pass!’ And hopefully, we will stay warm, cuddled next to a heat source, wherever you can find it. I, for one, like to stay warm! It was such a warm feeling the other day, when we received a ‘late Christmas letter’ or an ‘early Valentine’s Day card’ from friends in the cities. We had seen them earlier this fall, to help Gordy celebrate his 90th Birthday. In her letter, Gordy’s wife, Faythe, shared pictures and narratives of that day, in addition to the other highlights of their year, including the marriage of their son, Paul. It was a celebration of life, love, family and friends. But then, I turned the page to these words, ‘Remembering Dear Ones who left us too soon.’ Four pictures of one who died in her mid years, another who committed suicide, and still another who died from a gunshot wound and finally a beloved father and grandfather. I knew two of them. Indeed, ‘highlights’ of the year aren’t always celebrations of sorts, but rather moments raw and real, that take our breath away. One of the Epiphany hymns we sang on January 20, ‘Christ whose glory fills the skies’ has these words as the second and third stanzas; ‘Dark and cheerless is the dawn til your glories shine on me. Joyless is the days return, til your mercies beam I see. As they inward light impart, cheer my eyes and warm my heart. Visit then, this soul of mine, pierce the gloom of sin and grief. Fill me radiance divine, scatter all my unbelief. More and more yourself display, shining to the perfect day.’ -Charles Wesley (1707-1788) Yes, even in these cold, dark wintry days, God seeks us out with the Light of the World, Jesus the Christ. That is the message of Epiphany, that Christ is here, with us, in the darkest, coldest times of the year, blessing us with his presence and promise. It can be in an immigrant detention center along the border with Mexico, in the dormitory of an addiction treatment center, or in the family room of a hospital or around a kitchen table where we wonder how we’re going to survive. These are the very places where Christ meets us, imparting us with light and hope, and warming our hearts. Stay warm these days, dear friends.
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