As I write this, there is a new day before me. A beautiful orange and pink light in the sky. I see it through the branches and through the leaves of the trees that are growing bare.
Every new day is a promise.
Today I receive this promise as the promise of a new beginning: A baby will be born. A baby who brings light to the world. May His light be born in all the areas of darkness in my heart.
This is the passage that has been present in my heart this Christmas. I want to read it slowly, three times. I will read it from different Bible translations. I encourage you to pay attention. Pay attention to the words and to the invitation from God behind the words, and to the response of your soul. Be still and listen or read:
“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.” John 3:17-19 ESV
“God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him. This is the crisis we’re in: God-light streamed into the world, but men and women everywhere ran for the darkness. They went for the darkness because they were not really interested in pleasing God.” John 3:17-19 The Message
“Here’s the point. God didn’t send His Son into the world to judge it; instead, He is here to rescue a world headed toward certain destruction. No one who believes in Him has to fear condemnation, yet condemnation is already the reality for everyone who refuses to believe because they reject the name of the only Son of God. Why does God allow for judgment and condemnation? Because the Light, sent from God, pierced through the world’s darkness to expose ill motives, hatred, gossip, greed, violence, and the like. Still some people preferred the darkness over the light because their actions were dark.” John 3:17-19 The Voice
The grace of God is ever present. It is incarnated in Jesus Christ; it is celebrated in Christmas; it is enacted all of our lives. It is indeed the real gift.
On Christmas we remember, celebrate, and receive an invitation for a new beginning.
On Christmas we remember a choice. The choice of the humble to receive, to open, to let God enter, to let God’s will be done in them as it has been announced. The choice is between light and darkness. We are free to choose the light of the Light of the world – the light of love, of grace, of a new beginning, of surrendering, of becoming poor and humble for the sake of others – or we are free to choose the darkness of pride, of greed, of self-centeredness, of fear, of obsessive control….This kind of darkness is as real in the world as it is in my heart.
What is the choice? Eventually it becomes the choice of opening or closing my heart to the wonderful birth of Christ in me.
From The Mood of Christmas & Other Celebrations by Howard Thurman:
I will light Candles this Christmas,
Candles of joy despite all the sadness,
Candles of hope where despair keeps watch,
Candles of courage for fears ever present,
Candles of peace for tempest-tossed days,
Candles of grace to ease heavy burdens,
Candles of love to inspire all my living,
Candles that will burn all year long.
Written by Marcos Leon
We believe that God’s intended design is for wholeness in individuals, communities, and the world. We believe that God’s hope is for shalom to be present, which includes peace, unity, completeness, wholeness, and well-being for everyone and in everyone. God’s hope is for the Kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven.
We live in a world of brokenness: People are chronically anxious and reactive, internally conflicted, frequently unloving, and regularly unconcerned about the common good. Many Christians are inconsistent in following the way of Jesus.
To make wholeness possible for individuals, communities, and the world.
We do this through a process of spiritual formation where people are equipped with tools to gain freedom from wounds of their past, grow in emotional maturity, and live lives of purpose on mission with God, so that they increasingly follow the way of Jesus by serving the poor, the marginalized, and those in need, working for the common good, and restoring individuals, social systems, communities, and nations to God’s intended design.
Our vision is for Faithwalking to be accessible to every person in the world so that participants become agents of wholeness in their own context.