Well, tomorrow it is the beginning.

I wonder how in the world it is already this time, it feels like the year has flown by faster than any year before. I guess that is just because I am getting older. Is it really Thanksgiving again tomorrow? Is my December already totally full of special dates to see friends and go to parties and hold a few of them myself?

I used to terribly dread the holidays. Like hate them. I am very happy to say that they aren’t so bad anymore, I even kinda look forward to all the specialness that December has to offer. I think that is part of growing up for me too, getting older, more established in my own community and with my own friends. This month presents its own special routine.

I also know that this time brings a tremendous amount of emotion for a lot of people. For too many, and it has been for me,  it seems like it is a reminder of what we don’t have, of families that aren’t perfect enough, of relationships not happy enough, of this and that and the other thing.

Most pastors I know say that not only do our responsibilities increase two-fold this time of the year, but the need for pastoral care increases two-fold as well. This week as I was trying to wrap up my responsibilities before taking today off to cook and clean, I was struck by how many people I know who are deeply hurting right now, who feel no hope, who I hold in prayer day in and day out, who I wish could get an easier break.

And so my prayer today is in thanksgiving for all the people for make my life richer by being in it. I am so, so grateful. And it is also for those who are so very lonely right now–may God break through it all and intervene with hope and joy.