From the Pastor’s Pen – December 2020

I believe in the sun even when it is not shining
And I believe in love, even when there’s no one there.
And I believe in God, even when he is silent.
I believe through any trial, there is always a way
But sometimes in this suffering and hopeless despair
My heart cries for shelter, to know someone’s there
But a voice rises within me, saying hold on my child, I’ll give you strength,
I’ll give you hope. Just stay a little while.
I believe in the sun even when it is not shining
And I believe in love even when there’s no one there
But I believe in God even when he is silent
I believe through any trial there is always a way.
May there someday be sunshine
May there someday be happiness
May there someday be love
May there someday be peace….”

author unknown

Hear this gorgeous song, “I Believe” by Mark Miller, as performed by University of La Verne Chamber Singers Virtual Choir, conducted by Dr. Irene Messoloras.

The season of Advent reminds us that the birth of Jesus was the moment when God pierced through the darkness and sin of our world and was present with us in our human condition. The waiting of Advent always brings to mind the song I included at the beginning of this article. The lyrics are a poem found written on a wall somewhere in Cologne, Germany. Some sources say it was written on a cellar wall where Jews were hiding from the Gestapo, others say it was on a wall in a concentration camp. The poem and song point to the hope and absolute need for God to enter into our world and our lives. It is a timeless need that rings true every year. This year, though, my spirit shouts for this hope more than ever, and I don’t think I’m alone in that need.

Into the Darkest Hour by Madeleine L’Engle

It was a time like this,
War & tumult of war,
A horror in the air.
Hungry yawned the abyss-
And yet there came a star
And the child most wonderfully there.
It was a time like this
Of fear & lust for power,
license & greed and blight-

and yet the Prince of bliss
came into the darkest hour
in quiet & silent light.
And in a time like this
how celebrate his birth
When all things fall apart?
Ah! Wonderful it is
with no room on the earth
the stable is our heart.

I pray all of you have a holy and blessed Advent and a very merry Christmas. Prepare your hearts – stables for the coming of Christ!

Pastor Joel