The Advent season is upon us! We each get to journey through the fields, across the meadows, following the Christmas star to the coming Christ. The first Sunday is focused on hope and our anticipation for what is about to take place. Hope moves us forward with an understanding the world is about to change with the coming of Jesus. It symbolically tells us that we too can change into who we hope and want to be in this world. We are not stuck in this life we have but have the ability to become something different and alive with hope. In this four week journey to the manger may we ponder what will be born within us. What new creation will come to light inside of us when we come across the face of the Christ child? May the miraculous presence of God be among you this Christmas as the living hope touches our heart and souls.
Enjoy this video of "A Living Hope" which represents the start of our journey to the Christ child this advent season.
Merry Christmas! May you move forward with hope this week!
What do you find hope in this Christmas season?
My wife and I were able to vacation to Iceland a few years ago. We learned about the country, the people, their origins, and of course the food. One interesting thing we learned was the Icelands use of names. They do not use family names but only go by their first names. What would be called their last name is made up of their fathers or mothers first name with the addition of (son) or (daughter). Hence a persons name could be Jon Magnusson indicating Jon's fathers name was Magnus. If another person has the same name then they would add their paternal grandfather's name as well. I enjoyed hearing how the country had kept this tradition throughout the years which formed part of the overall country's culture. I know last names in the US are often passed down and hold significant meaning for our heritage and to have a different perspective was good. This interesting tradition got me thinking about the importance of names in particular the scripture Isaiah 43:1.
"I have called you by name, you are mine."
There is a comfort in someone using your first name. It's personal, down to earth, and lacks the formalities of tradition. To me, friends and loved ones use that name showing authenticity and genuineness. They know and understand who I am deep within behind the niceties of life. Deep relationships are built knowing who the other person is and calling them by their name. It is in that name where identity is known and created. The identity we have formed through the contexts of life that we have found ourselves in. Somewhere there is a true self who if we searched for each one of us can find that is already known by the divine.
As indicated in the scripture above God calls each of us by name and calls us God's own. We are God's beloved children. Just as the stars in the sky we are God's creation and expression of life. How precious it is to think that God knows my name, sees my inner self, and knows who I truly am through all the guilt, shame, and facades present. It is in this personal, genuine calling that I am known and loved for all that I am and can be, without judgement. What a special thought to have? To know no matter what I do there is a God that continues to uphold the love of creation beholding the people of this world.
We are never alone! God is there and will always be there with you. That's the message today. If you are struggling with something, feel alone, rejected, or outcast, know there is a Jesus that is constantly standing with you saying, "you are mine". Love surpasses understanding and even if we cannot conceptualize it, God's love is there. All it takes is your belief!
Please reach out to me or another christian organization if you would like to talk, pray, or whatever you need at this time.
To reiterate this message check out this incredible song by David Haas titled, "You Are Mine."
May you hear that voice calling you by name saying "You are mine, you are loved, you are not alone."
Thank you to all those following along. We appreciate your support and kindness for this continued ministry.
This week look in the mirror and tell yourself, "You are loved."
Craig Hidy like the majority of ministers in Community of Christ is a bi-vocational, self sustaining ordained minister. He is a member of the Midlands Mission Center Emporia Team and an ordained Seventy. He and his family, live in Topeka, Kansas.
The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of Community of Christ. We believe individuals should be allowed to have their own opinions and be at different places in their faith journey.
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