2 Timothy 1:1-7
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, for the sake of the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus,
To Timothy, my beloved child:
Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
I am grateful to God—whom I worship with a clear conscience, as my ancestors did—when I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. Recalling your tears, I long to see you so that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that lived first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, lives in you. For this reason I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands, for God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline.
This time of the year is filled with nostalgia and looking back. The songs, traditions, rituals, and keepsakes, all point our attention towards memories of previous Christmas seasons. We remember loved ones and special memories. Like Paul, we remember with fondness those whom we can’t see face to face this Christmas. We too are often moved to tears as we reflect on the past and those absent. This is also a season of expectant waiting and looking forward. We look forward to Christmas this year, to the birth of Jesus, to new memories to be made, and eventually to reunions with those we hold dear. May we be mindful today of our memories, but also the joy and hope to be found in what lies ahead through the provision of God.
God of past, present, and future, we give You thanks for Your steadfast love and presence in our lives. Guide us during this season of memories to be mindful of Your role in our lives over the years, Your continued presence guiding us today, and Your plan and love for us into the future. Amen.