Good morning everyone—

Are you still feeling the glow of Christmas?  Worship here at WDMUMC was wonderful.  At 5 pm families and children filled the pews.  Morganne, our Christian Education, and Discipleship Director led the children through the story of the first Christmas.  We celebrated the baptism of a sweet little girl just a few weeks old and she reminded us of how small and vulnerable Jesus was on that first Christmas.

At 9 pm our bell ministry led us through worship.  We read the story of the birth in Luke and sang carols and waited for the arrival of the light of Christ.  Olivia, a young girl, danced down the aisle carrying the light.

In both services, the sanctuary grew dark and we held candles in our hands and sang “Silent Night,” our faces aglow in candlelight.

Silent night, holy night
All is calm, all is bright
’Round yon virgin Mother and Child
Holy infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace

Silent night, holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight!
Glories stream from heaven afar;
Heavenly hosts sing Al-le-lu-ia!
Christ the Savior is born!
Christ the Savior is born!

Silent night, holy night
Son of God, oh, love’s pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus, Lord at Thy birth
Jesus, Lord at Thy birth
Jesus, Lord at Thy birth

Silent night, holy night

Wondrous star, lend thy light

With the angels let us sing,

Alleluia to our King

Christ the Savior is born,

Christ the Savior is born. 

For a child has been born for us, a son given to us, authority rests upon his shoulders and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6

And the good news of Christmas fills us.  God is with us.  Hope, joy, love, peace, God’s goodness has flooded the land in the birth of this child.

Later at home, I read the headlines:

An 8-year-old boy from Guatemala died in United States custody early Christmas Day, the second death of a child in detention at the southwest border in less than three weeks,  The New York Times, Dec 25, 2018.

And I can’t make the birth of one child, our Holy Prince of Peace, fit in a world where an eight-year-old child dies.

I know. I know.  Border security.  Immigration policies.  Politics.

But our policies and our politics aren’t working if the youngest among us are dying.  No animal species on earth can exist if their children are dying.  No human species should allow it.

I pray, of course, but a prayer offered to God should lead us to action, and honestly, I don’t know what to do.  The hatred and evil seem too big.  It is too easy to shrink back in the complexity of it all.  Too often blame is simply shifted from parents to the government.  Inertia seems easier.  My hands folded in prayer seem empty.

I am living in the glow of Christmas and grieving the darkness we have come to accept.  I find myself looking into the manger, begging that baby to lead us.  And then wondering if I would be brave enough to follow.  Still, I will keep praying for children, praying as we sang on Christmas Eve, Holy God, lend they light, lend thy light. 

And watching for what God might be calling me to do.

Blessings,

Pastor Cindy

Pastor Cindy Hickman

West Des Moines United Methodist Church
720 Grand Avenue
West Des Moines,  Iowa 50265
515-279-0826

Like us on Facebook or visit us at wdmumc.org.

We worship this Sunday at 8:30 and 11 and we would love to worship with you.