“Embracing the Light”, message for 12-21-14, with Luke 15:1-10

Last week’s suggested Advent Activity was to share “Random Acts of Kindness” throughout the week. Did anybody try this? My efforts ended up being mainly toward store clerks who seem to bear the brunt of people’s impatience and frustration during the holidays. It felt nice to treat these folks like the real human beings that they are. This week, the activity involves writing personal notes to stick in the gifts we’re giving. I hope we all get a chance to try this…

Our scripture this week, for the topic “Embracing the Light” was another unusual selection for Advent. And, like last week’s, it made more sense when I considered the whole passage in which the verse was located. That verse: 15:8 says—“Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one of them, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it?” When we read the entire portion of the chapter in which that verse resides, we discover that it’s a part of a couple of scenarios set up by Jesus to show God’s diligence in searching for what is lost, and God’s delight at when what is missing has been recovered.

As I considered the passage’s connection to what it might mean to embrace the Light, I envisioned both the searchers as they discovered the sheep and then the coin. It is easy to imagine that their discovery would include an embrace of some sort…of both the lamb and the coin.

To embrace something is to hold it close; to encircle it physically, to surround it. Those things that are embraced are received gladly and included or incorporated into whoever or whatever the embracer is. In this scripture it is important to notice WHO does the searching and embracing, as well as WHO the recipients are. Shepherds and women are both stigmatized by this culture as unclean and undesirable. Both the lost sheep and the lost coin have little relative value in the whole scheme of things; but both are LOST and have a value BECAUSE they are lost.

The lesson in the searching and finding is that God values any and all who search, and receives ANY lost with mercy. The embrace of those who seek and those who are found reflect this inclusivity. As we EMBRACE the light, we are working—as God does to include and love EVERYONE.

God=Word=Light=Christ=LOVE à all things

I want to share a story that shows the embrace of the Light. An embrace that brings unselfish and undiscriminating Love at Christmas…

Read: “Christmas Day in the Morning” by Pearl S. Buck

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