John’s Monthly Letter

“We Shall Overcome!”

This month I would like to share with you the daily
devotional sent by our United Church of Christ
denomination on December 10, 2008. The reflection
is entitled “Grace For the Old, Too.” The author is
Anthony B. Robinson. Here is a slightly edited version:
Scripture “Do not be afraid, Zechariah . . . . Your wife
Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will name him
John. You will have joy and gladness.” Excerpt from
Luke 1:5-17
Reflection: With these words the angel Gabriel told
Zechariah that he and his wife, Elizabeth, were going
to have their first child. It was an improbable
announcement as both Zechariah and Elizabeth were
by now far too old for such things and had given up
hope. And yet, they would become the parents of John
the Baptist. Sometimes in the Christmas focus on
children, on the young woman Mary and the birth in
the manger, we miss another element in the story of
Christ’s birth. There is grace here not just for the
young, but for the old, or older, as well. It’s not hard, is
it, to see the possibility of new life and new beginnings,when we are young or in the lives of the young? It may be more difficult to imagine such grace and newness when we are well beyond that time of life,
when the future is no longer so open or full of promise
as it once seemed. All the more reason then to
receive the gift of this part of the story, the promise of
grace and new life, not only for the young, but for
no-longer-young, too. Grace happens, surprise and
new life can come, no matter what our age. Look
today for the surprise of God’s grace in your life, no
matter what age you are.
Prayer: For the reminder, dear Lord, that you have
the power to bring new life to us when we’ve given up
thinking it possible, we give you thanks and praise.
Well, here we are. Christmas is upon us once more.
In these days before the celebration we delight in
watching the little ones so full of excitement and
anticipation with “hopes that St. Nicholas soon would
be there.” But there is a lot for us to do to enliven the
hopes of all our loved ones as we attempt to create a
Christmas that reflects the love that God made known
in the gift of the Christ child. There are cards to send,
gifts to purchase, treats to bake. Or, maybe you are a
bit older, and it is time for others to be doing all the
doing. Whatever age we may be, from little one to
older one and everyone in between, may we not get so
caught up in the sights and sounds of the Christmas
season that we miss the gift of newness of life, the
new thing God is offering each of us this Christmas
Season. What surprise does God have for you under
the Christmas tree? And are you willing to embrace
and live out that newness of life God offers you this
Merry Christmas!
Blessings and love,