Here we are at the end of another year. We are in the full-on Christmas pressures loaded upon us by our jobs, our friends, our family, and most often by ourselves. The point of the season is to remember that this time of year is not about us at all. It is about discovering that infant hope within each of us.

Shepherds and Magi didn’t travel to feast on wonderful delights or to trade gifts trying to impress each other. They didn’t fill their days with event after event. They arrived with what little they had and gave thanks for what they discovered.

We need to join them on this journey this month. With all that is occurring in our world, we need to travel with shepherds and Magi again.

We need to discover the awe of all that God has created. We may not have a fantastic star shining in the sky, but we can go out on a clear night away from the lights of cities and stare up into the night sky and see the wonder of all that God laid out. We can seek the bright lights among the stars and rejoice and be amazed.

Take time to sit quietly as the shepherd did before the angels started singing. To rest in the presence of God. Then sing carols or listen to the others sing and recall the angels singing to the shepherds.

We need to wander around our community and find the grace and hope in people around us. We need to spend time with our neighbors sharing joys, comforting pains, and living in the love of our neighbors.

With all the pain that surrounds us, we need to remember that the point of the season is not about spending money. It is about recognizing the infant Jesus in each person. It is about treating everyone as we should see them, as the image of God before us. We need to step away from the fear, anger, hatred, and partisanship that modern society encourages.

May your holiday season be blessed. May the New Year be filled with hope and promise. But most of all, may you be the blessings, the hope and the promise for the people around you. May you bear the image of God clearly through the end of 2017 and into 2018.

Shalom, Darrell