1 Church Street
East Harwich, MA 02645
A Message from Pastor Dianne
To the People of God at Harwich United Methodist Church
December is upon us – the season of lights! Starlight and candlelights. The dawn of the Son of God is remembered with joy by all creation.
The people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light,
and for those dwelling in the region and the shadow of death,
on them, a light has dawned. (Matthew 4:16, quoting Isaiah 9:1-2)
For Matthew, the coming of Jesus was the dawning of redeeming grace, breaking into deep spiritual darkness. Our world is still engulfed by it.
This year, as every year, trees inside and whole houses outside will be covered in lights. In our post-Christian world, Christmas is an annual reminder that deep within the human heart is the need for light—spiritual as well as physical—in order to have life.
The darkness can be expressed as a belief that ultimately, life has neither inherent nor transcendent meaning, purpose, or goal. Some people try to live with that intolerable perspective. This Christmastime you may encounter people who like Scrooge have tried to isolate or insulate themselves from the joy of the season, who may have experienced loss and with it hopelessness.
Know that you have good news to share. For Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life” (John 8:12). God loves to bring light into dark places. At creation, He said, “Let there be light.” In the darkness of Mary’s womb, the Light of the world was conceived. Later, in the darkness of Calvary, Jesus died only to rise again as the Dawn.
So today, Jesus, the Light of the World, tells us, “You are the light of the world.” Christians are miniature reflecting lights, illuminating the path that leads to Christ. He becomes visible in the speech, demeanor, relationships, and family lives that reflect him. By these simple means he draws others—often unwittingly and at first unwillingly—to himself.
Christmas, then, is a time to celebrate that Jesus is still the Light of the World. And it is a time to pray that the way we celebrate him will reflect his love to others and that some who approach this Christmas in spiritual darkness will experience for themselves the great joy of the dawn of redeeming grace.
Peace, joy, and love,
Pastor Dianne 2022