How beautiful is the person who comes over the mountains to bring good news … who announces peace and brings good news … who announces salvation and says to Jerusalem, "Your God is King." Isaiah 52:7

As the season of Advent arrived, I wanted to understand life … so I started to read about it — ideas like origin … creation … maturing … and our relationship with the creator.

I learned about life cycles — our beginning … our lifespan … our eternity.

I learned about the meaning of life and what gives it meaning — community with friends … legacy in family … identity in God.

I learned that life is a miracle … a miracle from God.

We are made in God's image … SACRED … A HOLY GIFT.

The biggest thing I learned about life … you don't have to be an EXPERT ON LIFE to value life.

The birth of Jesus stands as a symbol of hope for all time — an invitation this year AND EVERY YEAR to value life. In his ministry he envisioned a new world — the Kingdom of God — where the last would come first and justice would roll down like mighty waters, echoing the words of the Hebrew Prophets. Our task this Christmas is to offer prayers and sing praises to God for all the gifts we have been given and also to act on the teachings of Jesus — to bring hope to people and places left in darkness. We recommit ourselves to the Christian faith at Christmas time and then are called to live out that faith into the world.

A wish for PEACE ON EARTH AND GOODWILL TOWARD ALL from Union Avenue Christian Church … MERRY CHRISTMAS.