A Message From Pastor Margaret
From Christmas to the Epiphany!
Grace and peace to you!
Returning from South Africa this time round,
where we enjoyed the warm summer months,
to our winter here, is surprisingly not such a
difficult transition for me. Perhaps, it is because
I am finally becoming a New Englander!
Christmas in the summer is a very different experience. It is a time to enjoy the outdoors, sitting outside with family and visitors, enjoying cold drinks, and desserts, singing along with the Christmas bands as they walk the streets of my home town, blessing us with their beautiful music and colorful uniforms. I do, however, enjoy our winter Christmas seasons as well! I’ve had three opportunities during my 19 years in the United States, to be here during the Christmas period. During those times, I pledged to have a big Christmas tree to help me through the few weeks, as I was missing my family. It was awesome!
Whether Christmas is a summer or winter experience, it brings forth the pure joy of gathering with family and friends. It also gives us the opportunity to be there for those without families and be a friend to them. It is about the beauty of the story of Christ, and the precious sounds of Christmas carols. The Christmas experience sets the tone for the new year, with all its plans, ideas, work and play. It gives us hope that nothing we envision for ourselves, we do without the presence of Christ in our lives. We have been empowered with the spiritual resources in the Christmas box Christ gave to us at Christmas time: the gift of prayer, the gift of God’s love and compassion for the world, and a road map that shows us the way for our lives.
The joy of Christmas leads the way for this powerful period of the Epiphany, where we remember the manifestations of Christ as He walked the streets of Galilee, called the disciples one by one to follow Him, and where He speaks and acts with authority.
While during this Epiphany we experience the bitter winter cold here in New England, or in South Africa where the dry summer delays the much-needed rain, the Christ message is about hope, love and faith in a God that breaks through every challenge, shines the light in every shadow on our journey, and equips us all to walk this walk of faith with confidence.
May God strengthen our faith as we journey together here at Barre Congregational Church.