“Hark! the Herald Angels Sing”
United Methodist Hymnal – #240
“. . . peace on earth and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!”
Don’t you hate it when you break something valuable? There’s something so final about it, even when a shot of Gorilla Glue might be all that’s needed to restore the object. I’ve known people who intentionally purchased really inexpensive glassware, just because they knew they would be breaking all of them in time. (And in their case, not all that much time.) But that seems so fatalistic to me. How awful to assume, even with good reason or historical precedent, that something will eventually be broken. Does one then take greater care with a precious belonging? Well what about a relationship? How can one enter into a relationship with the expectation of it’s end? And if self-fulfilling prophecy is really a thing, do we unintentionally sabotage those relationships? Sometimes it’s distrust that can destroy a relationship. Sometimes it’s selfish or unkind actions and attitudes. All things that cannot be repaired with glue or duct tape, and though no special skill is required, it is far more difficult to repair a broken friendship than a treasured vase, or piece of art. Humankind is known to stray. It’s not really our fault – we’re given free will and sometimes we just make the wrong choice. But like the prodigal son, God waits for our return. God’s grace and mercy is continually offered to us. We need only accept it. it’s the Christmas message. God’s son, being born on earth, creating a bridge to reconciliation between us and God. No wonder angels sang.
Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt;
you shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
you shall be called the repairer of the breach,
ISAIAH 58: 12
Merciful God, it is so easy for us to get sidetracked. The stresses of the season can overwhelm. Our focus on what we need and what we want can alter our focus, from outward to inward, driving a wedge between ourselves, our colleagues and loved ones, and you. Help us to remember that your mercy is offered freely, and that reconciliation is its own reward. Amen.
~Rev. L. Michael Kelley