This Spirit he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
Titus 3: 6-7
Being called an “heir” reminds me of what I have been given from those who have gone before me.
On a typical day, I might think about the land I live on, the faith I live by, and the body I live in. I would recognize that the land we live our lives upon did not always belong to us. I would remember that the faith I put my trust in is one that has been given to me through moments with all types of people. I would acknowledge the white skin I live my life within carries with it privilege that comes with a responsibility to amplify the voices of those who do not look like me.
These are all important observations.
But today, on Christmas, I notice another inheritance of mine: traditions.
Beloved family festivities and faith practices have been turned upsidedown in 2020 for many of us. Fewer cookies are shared, songs are whispered rather than belted out, and more gatherings take place through a screen than not. These are not the traditions we have passed down for so long. Even on this day of great joy and celebration, these changes can feel particularly disappointing.
And yet, the purpose of this Christmas Day remains true. And here we are yet again, celebrating this new baby born – a gift from God for all of humanity. This Jesus promises not that we are heirs to sweet Christmas treats and holiday traveling, but instead we are “heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” We are heirs to the Holy Spirit, “poured out on us richly” and continually making us new. Thanks be to God.
Christ has come. Hope has come. Yes, hope even in 2020.
Holy One, grant us renewed hope on this Christmas Day. Be with those who are disappointed by and grieving a year like no other and show us the light of life anew. Amen. Sammy Kelly, Director
Sammy Kelly, Director of Youth, Young Adult, and Faith Formation Ministries of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Synod of the ELCA.