Rev.  Jan Bihl
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Rev. Jan’s Update for January 1st, 2021

New Year’s Blessings!
May the Peace of Christ be with you and guide you this day and always.

 

Our Christmas Gift 

We have hummingbirds coming to our balcony for the first time! After we noticed it, we decided that our Christmas gift this year would be a hummingbird feeder. What a blessing it is to watch the birds come to feed…so small and vulnerable yet living in hope! What an exercise in being still and aware!

What has been a blessing for you this Christmastime?

 

The 12 Days of Christmas: More Than a Catchy Tune

The Season of Christmas is a 12-day celebration of the gift of Jesus to the world.

It begins on December 25th and ends on January 5th, the day before Epiphany (January 6th). With the birth of this vulnerable child in the midst of fear and oppression we are given a glimpse of what God is up to in the world. Just watch the Nativity Story movie (2006) and you will get the impact of Herod from the opening scene! What a risk for God to come to us in such a time as that.

Yet the light shines in the darkness and the darkness does not overcome it…and we are overtaken with immense gratitude for the light that shines upon us, for the child who is born for us. Wonderful Counselor, Prince of Peace, Jesus of Nazareth, Crucified Messiah, Risen Christ…coming to us!

What is it about the gift of Jesus that brings you joy?

 

Prayer for the 12 Days of Christmas:

God of all time and space, we are grateful beyond expression that the babe in swaddling clothes is your startling Word become human flesh, living among us, full of grace and truth. With the shepherds we wonder in amazement that the angel chorus sings the incredibly good news to such as us. Could we be among those whom he favours with peace? Could we be among those who are to go and tell? With Mary we treasure these works of surprising peace and revealing light. In this shadowed season we, too, ponder such unlikely news in our heart.

 

Great Gift-Giver, do not allow the calendar of shopping days to dictate the end of the celebration of Christmas. Let the birth of Your Christ Child be the beginning of a new season of great joy for all people. Gift us anew with the infancy of your growing Word cradled in the stables of our existence. In the name of the One whose birth lightens all darkness. Amen.

(Prayer from a very early version of the University Hill Christian Seasons Calendar)