Reformation Lutheran Church A Congregation of the ELCA

Tuesday, March 15 Read 1 John 4: 7-21

In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Beloved, since God loves us so much, we also ought to love one another. 1 John 4:10-11

Open Hearts

I recently asked a young friend (third grade) what she wanted for Christmas. Her response was effectively “world peace.” At first, I thought her sentiment was sweet; then, I realized how profound these words were from someone so young. She reminded me of the hope we renew every Christmas as we commemorate Christ’s birth and every Easter as we remember his death and resurrection. He is our hope for peace.

Hope is what keeps us moving forward. Without hope, we have no reason to live. With hope, we see possibilities to help, to love, to give, to improve, to learn, to live.

As parents discover that their children have learning differences, they frequently feel a loss of hope. It’s my privilege as a special educator to guide them through the process of seeing possibilities for their children.

One day several years ago, a student came to summer school late one day. As she walked into the classroom, I said, “Suzy, I’m so happy to see you.” She said “hi” and went to join the rest of the class down the hall. Her mother sat down at the table and started crying because that was the first time she felt her daughter had been greeted that way at school.

You see, Suzy’s different – she has autism, which looks like different behaviors and different tone of voice and working differently with other students. It also means that teaching professionals get to have patience and work with her a little differently than with a typical student. I learned through that mother’s tears how important it is to maintain hope for all and to share the peace through acceptance.

How do you share hope and peace in the world?

Karen Vlamis

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