I am in Dublin with Sam and Izzy and I am much thankful…
Between Christmas and new year are indeed some serious and light moments!
On the 23rd of December, I officiated a funeral of a lady who was 99 years old and the following month,
and she would have been 100 years. So many experiences, so much joy, and so much pain! I am always in awe of people who lived long and wondered how they did it.
It was my job to prepare the Christmas meal, and I had everything done by Saturday evening. With the help of my son and daughter, we managed to get it done. It was only a matter of waiting for the 245th to sit as a family and enjoy the food. I felt so thankful and blessed.
Sunday morning, Christmas Day. Our church service was at 10:30, and we invited our Spa and Magherahamlet Presbyterian Churches friends to join us. We had a wonderful family service. We sang, prayed, and we listened to God’s word.
I shared how thankful we are when we have one another and that the best Christmas present is the gift of our lives. I shared about my granny Ines, who her two older sisters raised after her dad left them. I didn’t know that my great-grandfather came from Santiago del Estero, in the North of Argentina. He was Argentinian! ( Maybe I can say that we are football World Champions).
My granny was amazing; her gift to us was to feed us! She disliked making sandwiches. For her, that was not a meal! It needed to be a proper meal, and out of nowhere, a plate of hot food was given, and there was no chance of turning it down. I reflected that a Christmas meal could be a lonely place; my granny and mother are no longer alive, and I know their presence is much felt. There are families in my Church where this is true. Yet, we are not alone. The Christmas we celebrate is no less than God with us, Emmanuel. That is God’s promise! Emmanuel, God with us, is a promise that will last an eternity.
It is this promise that will sustain us for the new year and January, which I always find a difficult month. I need to hear that the Messiah who became one of us will sustain me during January and the rest of the year. I don’t know how much joy awaits us and how many disappointments we will have to endure. I don’t know, and I am okay with that. Because by knowing, I will not grow in my faith in God. Faith requires trust and confidence in the promises of God.
This is why there is a gap between Christmas and New Year. There is a pause where I need to rest and be assured of God’s promises.
Hope the reading of this Psalm 91 will sustain you!
“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust. ”Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked. If you say, “The LORD is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent. “Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.” (Psalm 91:1–16 NIV11)