Several weeks ago while in Sierra Leone, Africa, our team visited the sight of the massive landslide where nearly 2000 died. While standing there preparing to pray, we were joined by several locals who had lost loved ones. As I stood there, I was overwhelmed with the sense that so many died in their sleep without even knowing what was happening. Of course my pastoral heart prayed that they had known Jesus.
That landslide makes me think about the landslide in Mary's life...the visit from Gabriel. That startling news could have buried her and the birth story we celebrate every year for Christmas could have been buried with her. But Mary had the opportunity to not be buried in the landslide and she chose to fight her way through it. She withstood her confusion, the consternation of her parents and Joseph, the shunning of the villagers to say nothing of ultimately seeing her grown Son crucified and buried.
And we do know that the landslide of rejection and crucifixion did not have the final word with Jesus either. He rose on the third day and sits at the right hand of God our Father.
There are some landslides that we can avoid and some we cannot. All of this reminds me of the importance of having our hearts prepared because we never know the time or place. This Christmas eve, each of you has the opportunity to reach out to someone who may not yet have a relationship with Jesus and/or may not have a church family. There are thousands just waiting to be asked. Will you be the one to do so?
Merry Christmas!!!! Patti
Rev. Patti Napier