Redding Pilgrim
Congregational Church, UCC

Pastor Ann’s Update December 2015

Dear Pilgrims,

We are fast into the season of Advent with our Worship Series, “Testify to Love”. It is easy to bask in testimonies to love. The stories of people reaching out beyond their comfort zones to help others are inspiriting. They do fill our hearts with hope and joy.

Some may ask how we can allow ourselves to be lulled into such warm fuzzy thoughts in the face of the dire situations that fill our lives and our world in these turbulent times. Can we, with integrity, testify again and again to righteous love when we are faced with ongoing wars and the domination of some governments over others? Can we lift up liberating love in the face of brutal and insidious racism? Can we celebrate incarnate love in atmospheres where sexism and homophobia denigrate so many lives?

Yes, indeed, we should; we must; we can. This is the promise of Christmas. Hope, peace, joy and love rule our lives. The Christ is born in us and in our world as we are able to embrace this promise and give our lives to it. We give our lives to it when we allow the Christ to be born anew in us and we are able to live fully in compassion, kindness and humility.

The evils we face in this world are only able to exist in an atmosphere of fear. Love is the only power that can conquer fear whether it is an intimate situation in our family or city or a global situation encompassing thousands of people. To testify to the power of love and, in so doing, encourage our faith in love empowers people to overturn the evils we deplore. This is the Christmas miracle to which we give our lives.

May you have a blessed holiday season filled with unfettered love.