Message: Longing and yearning…

One of my favorite new hymns in the ELW is #715, “Christ, Be Our Light.”  Each verse begins by naming the neediness that fills our lives:

Longing for light, we wait in darkness. Longing for truth, we turn to you…

Longing for peace, our world is troubled. Longing for hope, many despair…

Longing for food, many are hungry. Longing for water, many still thirst…

Longing for shelter, many are homeless. Longing for warmth, many are cold…

Likewise, the Christian year begins with the season of Advent – a season characterized by waiting for something that has yet to come. The songs and the stories that fill this time of year place us right in the middle of salvation history through which God has promised to redeem the whole world, from the wars that rip our world apart to the sorrows that break each human heart.

We begin a new year by noticing and naming that life as it is, as we are living it, is not complete. We need the healing and reconciling presence of God to come into our lives in some way that we can touch and hear and attend to. As painful as our yearnings may be, it is in the act of naming them that we are finally able to expose them to the light of God’s love – a love that takes its shape in the faces of the people with whom we share our lives.

Many the gifts, many the people, many the hearts that yearn to belong.

Let us be servants to one another, signs of your kingdom come.

Christ be our light! Shine in our hearts. Shine through the darkness.

Christ be our light! Shine in your church gathered today.

In Christ,

Pastor Erik

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