Hope 2020

Dear Friends,

There is nothing I could say about the year 2020 that each of us have not experienced, thought or shaken our head’s about. Here is a thought that is guiding me through Advent.
“The Light Shines in the Darkness, and the Darkness did not overcome it”
John 1:5
This is John’s Christmas story. No angels, shepherds, mangers, wisemen, or bucolic scenes. Just this profound statement that the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. In this Advent season a lot will be stripped away from what we are used to. That is not all bad. My plan includes lots of music and watching A CHRISTMAS STORY at least twice.
I have a friend who spent Christmas in a prison, in Czechoslovakia, in 1974. He could never quite explain why he ended up there (said he got drunk), but Time Magazine implied that he worked for the CIA. He shared a story with me about befriending a prison guard who brought him Double Mint gum. He kept the foil wrappers and fashioned a complete Nativity set in tiny sizes.

He was released and headed to seminary at Phillips U in Enid, Oklahoma. In my imagination I constructed what his miniature Nativity looked like. Here is the best part. He shared there was a hole in his ceiling from which a beam of light shown in the corner each night. Guess where the “8 pound 11 oz. Baby Jesus in a manger” was??? Keep the faith…that light still shines.
A couple of weeks ago I came home from Greeley and MK (who was heading off the next day to “Grandma duty” in California, for a couple of months) had gotten out my favorite Christmas decorations and yard lights as a gift to me in her absence.
My light is shining from the inside out as each day the kindness of friends and strangers touch me.
Onward and Upward, Mark
ps, My bucket list is down to 1– Don’t kick the bucket!!! (Wear your mask so we don’t kill each other)

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