“In the tender compassion of our God the dawn from on high shall break upon us, to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, and to guide our feet into the way of peace” – Luke 1:78-79
I have always loved this Canticle of Zechariah and thought it was so fitting for Christmas Eve. The light and hope and joy – the “dawn from on high” that will “shine on those who dwell in darkness” – that settles in our hearts the day before our gift at Christmas. This year I find myself noting specifically that the light and hope and joy come from the “tender compassion of God” and will “guide our feet into the way of peace.” Perhaps these words resonate particularly because I just desperately wish that compassion and peace were the way of our world.
While I sometimes find myself unable to find light and hope and joy in our times, I know that it is because it is so much easier to find fault in others than in myself. I cannot control the thoughts and words and deeds of others, but I can control my own. I choose to believe that compassion and peace are both inherent in this world and able to take hold and grow in all of us. I choose to believe that Christ, as the light of the world, shines for all of us. I choose to believe that all the anticipation of the Christ child during the Advent season comes to life when childlike wonder at the goodness of the world and others takes hold of all of us. Simply, I choose to believe that God loves all of us, every last single one of us belongs to Him.
Dear Lord, may we come to cherish all of our brothers and sisters in Christ.
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