“Keep Your Head Up” by The Rev. Stephanie Kendell

November 29th,2018 Categories: Stephanie Kendell Letters, Weekly Letter

Beloved Church,

Happy New Year! No, it’s not too soon. It is Advent 1 which means the new liturgical year is here! That means that the holidays are also upon us. So here is my reminder …be gentle with yourself. Go to the parties that give you life. Be with the people that support you. Take deep breaths and know that you are loved. Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for all the ways you can stay connected to The Park. We will also have a daily advent starting on Dec 1. We are so excited to start this advent journey with you.

I saw a video last night with a woman who was experiencing homelessness, while working for a local non-profit in the UK. She sat daily in the subway terminal staying warm and asking for some help from strangers. After days of no one even looking her in the eyes, a woman gave her $50, some fresh fruit, and a cup of coffee. She also reminded her to keep her head up that hope was on its way. This story reminded me of this week’s scripture. Let’s read together this piece of scripture from the Gospel of Luke.

25 “Signs will appear in the sun, the moon, and the stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish, distraught at the roaring of the sea and the waves. 26 People will die of fright in anticipation of what is coming upon the earth. The powers in the heavens will be shaken. 27 After that, people will see the Chosen One coming on a cloud with great power and glory. 28 When these things begin to happen, stand up straight and raise your heads, because your ransom is near at hand.”

What does “raise your head” mean to you? Is it physical? Is it a call from within? Is it a vision for the future? No matter what it is, God is reminding us that hope is on its way. Hope can sometimes be hard to name or hear when things seem a little dark and cold (physically and emotionally). But this is the season to be alert. Look up.  Look up, into the eyes of our neighbors and see God there. Look up into the eternal sky of creation and have faith that our God that is consistent with grace and love. Look up and offer the vision of hope this world so desperately needs.

Friends, whatever it means for you to “raise your head,” know that you are doing it in a community and world that is with you. This holiday season may we set our sights on the hope that the Christ child will bring, and hope we don’t get in our own way of being able to see it.

A short prayer for your week: Lord, lift our heads and point our hearts toward you. May your star of hope lead us in all that we do. Amen.

Shalom Y’all.
Rev. Stephanie