And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works. Hebrews 10:24
I have news this evening that my brother for whom we’ve been praying in Michigan and who suffers from frontal lobe dementia had a serious fall two days ago when he went out for a walk which required a brief hospitalization. He should be sent home this Friday afternoon. However, further consultation resulted in a diagnosis that he is now entering the last phase of his illness and the prognosis is that he has but a year to go. My brother was an agnostic all of his life. Once he asked me about my faith and I witnessed to him. He said that in his work in the notorious Michigan prisons, he often worked side by side with some Baptists and was also involved with a local Episcopal congregation and was envious of their faith. I will say this, that my brother had a passion for justice which absorbed his life. We know that all such persons are on the side of God and are not far from His heart. Several of the prisoners from whom he and his wife advocated have stepped forward to assist him in his hour of need. During this whole ordeal I have been moved to witness to his wife who is tender to receive the love of God in Christ. Please pray for Buzz and Janie and for all of those you know who are walking in the valley of the shadow of death.
Now for the praise part. My partner in my legal practice, Dave, has been like a brother to me for some 40 years. I first met his wife who wanted to see a house that I had up for sale. I told her it wasn’t the right house for her, but she said never mind, wait here and I’ll send my husband over, he’s at home watching the baby. That was the beginning of a 40 year long relationship. The baby is now 40 and married. Exactly to the day 21 years later the second daughter was born. Dave’s wife is Hindu, but she is growing close to the Lord and participates in the service when they come, which they do every time I preach. The second daughter was baptized shortly after she was born. I’ve been very gently nagging her to draw closer to the Lord and praying for her. Praise God, You are so Great! She met a boy who’s a Christian who has come up for communion when they attend. Last week at our Healing Service she came forward and received the Lord’s Body and Blood from my hand. Her mother also came up for the anointing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6B_jYtjvME.
In my denomination, we take Advent very seriously. It is for us a time of fasting and penitence when we contemplate not only the darkness of the world, but our own darkness without Christ. This is especially accented for us in a world that has gone mad with the commercialization of the season. I leave you with this thought to consider now your life and how it would be without the Light of Christ which came into the world, nay, not the world only, but into your heart.
Love so amazing, so divine, Demands my soul, my life, my all.
There is a thought that I have every year at this time: of all the various holidays during the year, Christmas is unique in that it is so family oriented. Both the devout and the impious are with family. If you have no family, where do you go? Everyone you know is with their family. How ironic that the most joyous and universal of holidays can also be the cruelest. Good Christian friend, see how you can bring the Light of Christ to all in your community beyond your family.