Pastor’s Paragraph for December 20, 2020

Pastor's Paragraph for December 20, 2020

DECEMBER 20, 2020


Jupiter and Saturn will tomorrow (December 21st)  form a rare “Christmas Star,” appearing closer in the night sky than they have since 1226 AD. If I live a long life, I will be 98 by the time this phenomenon will happen again. And it occurs to me that this is only one of many precious occurrences that most likely will only come around once in a lifetime.  

Some of the others are not as spectacular as I imagine that bright light will be. How often in life do we pause and take a breath in the moment, looking intently at what is happening around us, remembering that no one has ever lived this moment before—and no one will ever live it again just as we have? It is one of a kind—precious.

I wonder if that is how Mary and Joseph felt as they welcomed Jesus into the world. This morning, I got a text from a dear friend, announcing that labor has begun, and God-willing, her baby boy will be born today. Another friend responded—remember to breathe—this will be the best day of your life.

Not everyone is fortunate to have welcomed a healthy new baby. Not everyone can always say they feel the soft, murmuring presence of God, as though nestled in the crook of our arms. And yet, we all have been created uniquely by this same vulnerable and ultimately eternal God whose birth we celebrate this week in an event that occurs not just once—but over and over again in our lifetimes. And each time we experience this new birth for ourselves, it is equally precious—with the power to leave us forever changed by its impact. 

I invite us all this week to pause and to notice the big and small moments that only come around once in a lifetime—and also to notice the presence of a God who shows up in small but real ways—who promises to be with us always, even if we struggle to feel it.  

Peace to you this Christmas, as we celebrate differently than ever before, the birth of Emmanuel, God with us. As difficult as this time is, let’s not miss the preciousness of this gift.


Rev. Anna Layman Knox