Godspace Light Newsletter

by Christine Sine

by Christine Sine

Welcome to the season of Christmas. I love these 12 days after Christmas Day in which we continue to celebrate Christmas. This year I appreciated more than ever before that these days celebrate both the sorrow and the joy of the season. On December 26th we celebrated St Stephen, the first Christian martyr, and tomorrow, December 28th, we celebrate the Holy Innocents who were killed by Herod as he attempted to kill the Christ child that the Magi told him had been born in Bethlehem.

My own celebration is a combination of joy and sorrow too. My Christmas altar has two images of the Holy family in it. One is a fairly traditional image in the middle of my Advent wreath, now filled with white candles. The other, is Kelly Latimore’s powerful icon Christ under the Rubble, which has been important for many of us this Christmas season, not just because it focuses on what is happening in Gaza, but because it reminds us of all the violent places in our world where the light of Christ is still so desperately needed.

In my Meditation Monday – Where is Christ Born, I talk about these images and comment: Strangely, these rather devastating images of Christ’s birth give me hope. Into the rubble of all the broken places of our world comes the One who showed us a different way to live, a way which can, as it has countless times before, bring reconciliation, peace, stability and new life.

I am excited that Kelly Latimore will be one of my first guests on the new Liturgical Rebels podcast. Another will be my favourite poet of the 2023 Drew Jackson.  I expect to start recording next week, and appreciate your prayers.

I have done much reflecting on the Christmas story over the last week, some of these reflections are posted on Facebook and Instagram. Much to my surprise one of my posts has now had over 2.4K likes and 2.7K shares. It has been interesting reading through the responses. Most loved the post, a few got angry, and a few others had very helpful suggestions, especially about how our understanding of the words “meek” and “mild” have changed since Jesus day. One person commented: Maybe meekness was never meant to be passive, but rather an active and fierce expression of love and trust. Another post, which has also been very popular is this one that I wrote in response to to Kelly Latimore’s icon.


To facilitate this kind of interaction on reflections I write that do not appear on the Godspace blog, rather than expecting people to sign up for Instagram and Facebook, and then not be able to find posts in the midst of the ads and at the whim of the algorithms, I am thinking about starting a Substack newsletter. If you have any words of wisdom on that, or thoughts as to the value of that please let me know.

In yesterday’s post Empty But Expectant Jenny Gehman reflects on the hope we often find in the emptiness of despair and heartache. On Saturday in Reflections on Micah and Matthew, Karen Wilk reminded us that Jesus’ way is the shepherd’s way. He goes before us. The incarnation reminds us (among other things) that God’s way among us is the Shepherd’s way, a way of leading that is not distant or powerful, but gentle and instructive. In Freerange Friday,- Invitation to Worship, Lilly Lewin offered the last of her Advent invitations, She reminds us that in the Christmas story there are many ways to worship. The angels sing, the shepherds race to see, and Mary ponders in her heart. How do we worship this Christmas season? On Thursday April Yamasaki, in On the Edge of Winter reflects on a Gerald Manly Hopkins poem to a young girl, Margaret who is grieving.

I love the honesty and vulnerability that our writers express. I hope that it speaks to you in the same ways that it speaks to me.

It’s hard to believe that the next letter I write you will be in 2024. This has been a challenging year and we all hope that next year will hold more joy. Because of their popularity, and the keeness of many attendees for more, I am planning another series of webinars in the Spring. One thing people really appreciate about the way I do these is the interactiveness and the change for discussion. We begin as strangers and end as a community of friends who have learned from each other. Save the dates for our upcoming events: Spiritual Discernment:Finding Direction in a Confusing World, Saturday January 27th; Lent Quiet Day March 2nd and Spirituality of Gardening – May 11th. I am very aware that Saturday morning Pacfic Time is very inconvenient for those who live in Australia and New Zealand. Please let me know if you would be interested in another event at a better time for our Down Under friends.

Many blessings on all of you as we draw towards the end of the year. I am working on a new prayer for the 2024 but thought that I would end today’s letter with one I wrote a couple of years ago:

As a new day dawns,
And a new year emerges,
Let us open our eyes and our ears.
There is hope in every sunrise and sunset,
All around the world.
The light of hope will guide us.
Let us entwine our hearts with God’s heart,
And invite the eternal in us,
To welcome the wonder of each day.

Many blessings

Christine Sine

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