Friday, December 23, 2022

An Act of Faith

In Jan Karon’s Christmas story, “Shepherds Abiding,” she wrote, “In the face of losing everything one hoped for, lighting a tree was an act of faith.” The main character, Father Tim, is cheered by the sight.

“Well done! he thought, pulling his hat down and his collar up. 

“He walked more briskly, glad to be alive on the hushed and lamplit street where every storefront gleamed with promise.”

This Christmas, you may be surrounded by hard things. It may be the loss of a loved one this past year (we at AmblesideOnline grieve our beloved friend and Advisory member, Wendi Capehart), it may be a shattered dream, it may be a financial struggle or a wayward child. But Christmas takes courage, as Advisory members Donna-Jean Breckenridge and Lynn Bruce recounted recently in an episode of The New Mason Jar with Cindy Rollins. And sometimes just the act of lighting a tree, baking some cookies, and wrapping a gift takes all the courage you’ve got. 

Know that we pray for you. In the prayer of Father Tim in that same book, “Almighty God, our Heavenly Father, who settest the solitary in families: We commend to thy continual care the homes in which thy people dwell. Put far from them, we beseech thee, every root of bitterness, the desire of vainglory, and the pride of life. Fill them with faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness. Knit together in constant affection those who, in holy wedlock, have been made one flesh. Turn the hearts of the parents to the children, and the hearts of the children to the parents; and so enkindle fervent charity among us all, that we may evermore be kindly affectioned one to another; through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

To our beloved AmblesideOnline Community around the world, we on the Advisory wish you a very Merry Christmas, a Happy and Blessed New Year, and a reminder of the greatest news of all: Emmanuel! God with us. Jesus is real -  the Story is true! 

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