Christmas Eve – Exile to Hope

Under siege, Jerusalem wailed in despair.
The walls fell. The Temple crumbled. 
In the darkest of hours, 
we long for hope.

Exiled to Babylon, the people adapted and faith was tenuous. 
In the darkest of hours,
we long for hope.

In time, the people returned to Jerusalem and began to rebuild.
In the early dawn,
hope seemed possible.

But it was hard. Memories and expectations exceeded reality. 
In the mid-morning fog,
grief and hope intermingled.

Generations later, faith was rebuilt but corruption and Roman occupation seemed too much to bear.
In the afternoon sun, 
hope seemed a dream too grandiose.

Therefore, the Lord will give you a sign. The young woman is pregnant and is about to give birth to a son, and she will name him Immanuel. [Isaiah 7:14 CEB]
Beneath the evening stars, 
hope is nigh.

Come! Worship!
The world is changing.

Come! Worship!
Hope is on the way.

Come! Rejoice!
The world is changing.

Tim strives to share God’s extravagant love for all–no matter what & without strings. Seeking to follow the lure of the Spirit, Tim writes about what it means to be a follower of Jesus in an era where Christianity has come to be associated with hatred and political wedge issues. “Heinous things have been said & done (& still are) in the name of the One who breathed in the Divine,” notes Tim, “but Jesus shows us that God loves extravagantly.” Following the teachings and life of Jesus is about inclusion not exclusion. It is about compassion, grace, and admitting no one has all the answers. It is about responding lovingly to the best of our human ability. It is about people not institutions. It is about social justice. It is about caring for creation. It is about being who we were each created to be. Tim is a former early childhood educator, a runner, a hiker, a devoted husband, father of two adult children and their spouses, and a grandfather of four perfect grandchildren. Tim serves as Senior Pastor of the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Albany, Oregon. He writes from home, from the coffee shop, and wherever the trail leads him.

Posted in Call to Worship, Christmas Eve, Ezra, Isaiah, Jeremiah, narrative lectionary

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Creative Commons License BY-NC-ND 3.0

All materials by Tim Graves unless otherwise noted. Creative Commons License BY-NC-ND 3.0

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