I go back and forth between writing the Adult or Children's devotion first. Today it was the Children's. So I went to the daily lectionary for March 25 and instead of the next part of the story of Exodus I was reminded that today is the Feast Day of the Annunciation. This is fancy church talk for the day that the Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary to tell she was pregnant and the child would be Jesus. If you're good with math you'll figure out that Christmas Day is 9 months from today! Now that I know brings good news for children. As I wrote the post it was light and exciting. And as I shifted gears for adults I realized that for some the news that Christmas was 9 months away would create anxiety and that was the last things we need.
And yet, we know that the true meaning of Christmas has nothing to do with where our stress really comes from. Today, let us rest in the reminder that God on Christmas we celebrate the best news. We celebrate that when Jesus was born it meant that God was literally with us. So today, I invite us all to take a deep breath and remember that God is with us. Knowing that God is with us helps us to center ourselves. It helps us remember who we are and whose we are. Knowing that God is with us is a great reminder that we are never alone. We are connected to God and by extension we will always be connected to each other.
And as I wrote this I was immediately reminded of the hymn text written by John Fawcett in 1782 - Blest Be the Tie That Binds. May this song fill our hearts this day.
Blest be the tie that binds
our hearts in Christian love;
the fellowship of kindred minds
is like to that above.
Before our Father's throne
we pour our ardent prayers;
our fears, our hopes, our aims are one,
our comforts and our cares.
We share each other's woes,
our mutual burdens bear;
and often for each other flows
the sympathizing tear.
When we asunder part,
it gives us inward pain;
but we shall still be joined in heart,
and hope to meet again.
Let us pray: God hold us close to you and each other. Help us to share your Good News in all that we do. In the name of Jesus who is with us always. Amen.