Reformation Lutheran Church A Congregation of the ELCA

Tuesday, April 7

Camilla Wilson

Each Winter as the Year Grows Older (ELW 252)

 

I searched the hymnal for something that would give me inspiration to write this devotion. I started by looking at the Christmas options and quickly became overwhelmed. These hymns remind us of the joy that is ours in the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ. We are so full of anticipation in Advent, which swells even more with the arrival of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. And then we move on past the anticipation and warmth of the holidays, and all of this happens as the year turns colder and at least our part of the world becomes more barren outside with brown grass and leafless trees.

 

As I moved through the hymnal, I found this one (an Advent hymn), and it touched a chord in me that really identified my personal state of mind at this particular time of year. It’s after Christmas and Epiphany, in the middle of our Kansas winter, and Lent is just around the corner. I’m not certain that I have ever heard this work in church—but its words helped direct my thoughts.

 

“Each winter as the years grows older, we each grow older too. The chill sets in a little colder, the verities we knew seem shaken and untrue.” (verse 1)

As I have grown older into my seventh decade, I find these words so true. In many ways I feel that time has passed me by. Now is my time to sit back and remember younger times when the world seemed so fresh and challenging. I don’t think that the many lessons I learned over the years are invalid, but that the younger generations have a different take on them. Neither viewpoint is wrong—just different. I do know that when the February temperatures hit 60 degrees outside, I no longer can be the person wearing shorts and no jacket. That still is too “cold” for me!

 

“When race and class cry out for reason, when sirens call for war, they over shout the voice of reason and scream till we ignore all we held dear before.” (verse 2)

In these days of continued division in our country, many voices cry out. We are bombarded 24/7 with bad news and leadership that seems intent on only their ways of thinking. It is indeed a calamitous time—but in this imperfect world, we are destined to keep repeating these terrible ways.

 

“So even as the sun is turning to journey to the north, the living flame, in secret burning, can kindle on the earth and bring God’s love to birth.” (verse 3)

But now this verse brings us back to the true center of our being. We are blessed by God’s amazing love and by the life, death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Even in this bleakest of times, we find comfort and joy. And as we journey through the Lenten season, let us not despair, but rejoice again in the spirit of Christmas and even more in the coming of Easter, which gives true meaning to our lives.

 

“O Child of ecstasy and sorrows, O Prince of peace and pain, brighten today’s world by tomorrow’s, renew our lives again. Lord Jesus come and reign.” (verse 4) Amen!

 

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