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January 2017

Thanks to the encouragement of my loving wife, as I sit in this cold and dark season thinking about the coming year, my thoughts are on the memory of the Children’s Christmas Pageant and caroling through the town on the hay wagon.  The children were so filled with song and excitement, and as I watched the faces of old people at Chappies, retired people at the Manor, and people sitting in cozy taverns, they were lit up with warm smiles.  There was something in their eyes that has stayed with me, something like hope and kindness.  My inclination in this season of short days with the sun low on the horizon and long, cold winter nights, is to turn to dark and foreboding thoughts.  I’ve preached a few Christmas sermons on Herod’s massacre of the Hebrew children.  In this spirit I wrote an equally dark January Pine Tree Letter which, thanks to Sarah’s prompting, is safely filed away and will not burden your New Year’s meditations.  In the words of a Native American sage, I carry within my psyche two fighting wolves, a dark one and a light one.   When the old grandfather was asked by his grandson, “Which one will win?”  The grandfather answered, “The one you feed.”  So I am feeding on the memory of the children in the Christmas Pageant.  If there’s no other thing I do in my Hill City ministry, and for that matter, if there is no other thing that the Hill City Church accomplishes, than to support these children in growing in their sense of loving and being loved by people and the One who is creating them and their world, I, we, will have done enough.  I wish you all a Happy New Year, in the coming year, whatever it brings, remember the children.