Radically Different

 In Featured, Pastor Jeff's Blog

Actually, I don’t have a sense of needing anything personally. I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am. – Philippians 4:10-12

This year’s holidays will be radically different.

We’ll have to let go of some traditions.

Most of us won’t be gathering together in a sanctuary for worship.

Economic realities may mean fewer gifts under the tree.

There may be fewer people around the dinner table.

Some of us will be grieving the loss of loved ones.

While I don’t want to minimize the losses that we’re experiencing, radically different holidays aren’t all bad.

Our English word “radical” comes from a Latin word, “radix” which means “root”. Something that is radical takes us back to the root of things.

We’ve all had the experience of stepping out of the sunlight and into a darkened room. At first, you can’t see a thing. But in time your eyes adjust and you begin to see what’s around you.

I’m experiencing something similar in these radically different holidays. As I give myself permission to grieve all that’s been lost, my spirit is adjusting to a slower place and what I’m feeling surprises me: deeper contentment. A less crowded calendar has opened space for more reflection and time to savor simple things – the pink hues of morning, a smile from a stranger, getting lost in a good book, the smell of bread baking. Most of all, losing my sense of certainty has deepened my appreciation for that which never changes – the love and grace of God that we know in Jesus. Jesus is the root of it all.

Let yourself feel the pain of all that you’ve lost this holiday season. And may you find contentment as your heart adjusts to all that remains.

Jeff Marian serves as lead pastor at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Burnsville, MN

Recent Posts

Start typing and press Enter to search