You are the Blessed Community - if

Ron Panzer
December 21, 2014
Reproduced with Permission
Hospice Patients Alliance

People have been getting ready for Christmas for quite a while, many of us anticipating what will come in the days ahead, but as others have already pointed out, we so often get lost in the flurry of activities and forget what this day is all about.

If we contemplate the state of our world, the conflicts raging in various regions, and the hostilities that exist between competing forces, we may feel overwhelmed. If we look at the world we can see that so many have suffered and still suffer. Too many Injustices have occurred and will continue to occur.

What are we to do? Some ask: "How is it possible to be joyous and content when we are confronted with the dark realities that affect so many?"

In the face of man's widespread acts of evil in the world, can we find another way to respond than hating those who have wronged us? Can we give a little of our lives now, in whatever way we can? Though we think that there is nothing we can do that would really solve the problems of the world, we can help someone, somewhere, somehow. We can make a difference! The rest is in His hands.

We can understand that changes have come and are coming, and also that not all of these changes will be to our liking. Many are and will not be what we hoped for at all. Some changes may shock us and shake our own world and families. Some changes and losses are even likely to be terribly painful in many ways.

We will likely feel lost and close to despair, but we must remember that this has always been the way of this world. History shows us that unwanted change cannot always be avoided. Change is never-ending in this world.

When fortunes and nations rise, it's easy to accept change, but when fortunes and nations sink below the waves, they are no longer recognized as what once was, however nostalgic or patriotic one might be. Hearts will grow heavy. Individuals will become weary under burdens that may never have been imagined. At such times, many of us will hardly feel like celebrating.

Those who can help must help as they can. Those who can speak must speak the truth to those who are lost and confused. Those who can lend a hand must reach out and care for the needy.

In the end, there is only one thing worth knowing: The dear Lord lives!

Truly, He is with us today, now and forever. Truly, He is with you today, now and forever!

Know that:

His face shines with the perfection of beauty,
He is true and pure!
His love answers our emptiness
so that emptiness is no more!
His arms reach out to embrace us
wherever we are, however far we have fallen!
He comforts us
and gives us peace!
He is greater than the great,
and more powerful than the powerful.
He is more splendorous than any passing beauty,
and unforgettable in every way.

Through all the coming changes and challenges,
remember, you are not alone!

He is really real and truly alive! How many really believe this and act in line with this knowledge? Do I, do you, live our lives as if He is here with us this moment right now?

Remember, you are loved, and though others have left you, He will never abandon you!

I hope you will make your life a work arising out of the blessed community of believers, helping to restore the caring culture of life.

You can know you are a part of His blessed community
if your heart throbs with His love
and you yearn for Him more than anything in this world.

You are the blessed community
if you are ready to go anywhere
and do what is necessary to serve,
even if that somewhere is right here where you already are.

You are the blessed community
if you find yourself incapable of turning your back
on those He has placed in your path and called you to serve.

You are the blessed community
if you look around you and see brothers and sisters,
and do not first think of "us vs them."

You are the blessed community
if when the time comes and you lose what you have had,
you know that you still always have Him and are at peace.

You are the blessed community
if somehow you always find your way back when you've been lost,
and you know that it is He who has led you back home to His feet.

You are the blessed community
if you feel His love calling to you upon the wind
and in every bit of His Creation.

You are the blessed community
if you know your own imperfect self
and so you do forgive others,
seeing a reflection of your own imperfection in them.

You are the blessed community
if you've never stopped loving
even though your heart has been torn to shreds again and again.

You are the blessed community
if you face the seeming bleakness of this world
yet hope still resides within,
and appreciation for His glorious hand
at work in the Creation never leaves you.

You are the blessed community
if great excitement does not arise
from any thing to be acquired in this world
but you thrill to the extreme at His Holy Spirit's touch.

You are the blessed community
if wonder has never died within,
and each moment you remember Him.

This is what Christmas is really about: remembering, reaching out, and adoring Him this moment. Let reverence for life and the Giver of life fill your heart!

As mysterious as it may be, the dear Lord Jesus is alive, never far, but here, right now: Emmanuel - God with us!

Dare to believe!

Rest in His love and be at peace this Christmas and in all the days to come!