Rejoice, rejoice, take heart in the night, though dark the winter and cheerless, the rising sun shall crown you with light, be strong and loving and fearless. Love be our song and love our prayer and love our endless story; may God fill every day we share and bring us at last into glory. 
Awake! Awake, and Greet the New Morn verse 4

Photo by Denys Nevozhai on Unsplash

Every year at about this point in January I start to get tired of winter. This day as I write, however,  the sun is shining in through the window and my cats have each claimed a sun spot on the rug (the dog claimed the spot on the couch next to me). This time of year can feel bleak, but there are also those days when the sun lights up the snow so much it is blinding. Like life, some days sparkle, and some feel flat and dark. Spots of sunshine become reminders that warmth still exists in the cold, the lengthening of days a reminder that spring always comes. 

In the fourth verse of the beautiful hymn, Awake! Awake, and Greet the New Morn, we acknowledge the reality of both times that are dark and cheerless and days when we are crowned with light. Whatever the circumstances, in all times we are sustained and buoyed by the head and heart knowledge that we are loved by God in the darkest winter and in the rising sun.

Life can change in an instant, but God’s love doesn’t change. 

This love is our driving force as people of faith. In our work and in our play, in our homes and in our communities, it is this love that drives us and informs our life. Love, as the hymn says, is our song, our prayer, and our endless story. 

This Sunday we will be gathering over zoom as we tend to the business of the church for our semi-annual meeting. I invite you to reflect on how love has been made manifest in us this year? Looking back, how has love shaped Prince of Peace’s songs, prayers, and story? Looking forward, how is love calling us to live out our baptismal identity? Love was our song, prayer, and story last January when we were operating in “normal” pre-covid time, and love is our song, prayer, and story now during covid times. How we worship and do ministry has changed, but God’s love doesn’t change. Please join us on Sunday as we gather for this meeting. As we look ahead, may Love continue to be our song, prayer, and story. 

In Love, Pastor Ruth

Let us pray:
Lord God, your lovingkindness always goes before us and follows after us. Summon us into your light, and direct our steps in the ways of goodness that comes through our life together in Christ. Send your Spirit to enlighten us this week as we serve, pray, rest, and act; trusting that your grace goes before us. We pray in the name of Jesus who shows us the face and love of God, Amen.