The hunters had been on the pack ice south of the coastal village where we lived in Northwest Alaska the day before, looking for walrus and seal. Pack ice is a strange thing: one day people can be driving their cars around on it, people by the hundreds can be out on it ice fishing, and if the wind shifts then the ice can move out to sea very quickly. So when the wind suddenly turned, and began blowing out of the north, the thick pack ice -with groups of hunters a mile or two offshore- moved out to sea. This was not unusual for our corner of the world. The Coast Guard would scramble, and private pilots would assist with the search. The surprise -this time- is that the search turned up no sign of the group of hunters.
After two or three days, people in town became very anxious. Finally, rescue officials asked residents of our small town to turn on their lights and leave them burning through the night. Cloud clover was low that night, and the hope was that the reflected light would be seen by the hunters who would turn towards home.
The hunters saw our light bouncing off the low hanging clouds and made their way north, towards the shore and home.
We've been talking a lot these last few weeks about the declaration of John in 1:5 that "The light (the Christ) shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it."
In these days when the lights on the Christmas trees may not match the mood of our hearts, as we feel disconnected from one another, we want to invite you to reach out to your friends and family to share the light of Christ. We have several ways we are working to not only to connect with you as members of this beautiful congregation, but we offer the following ways for you to reflect the light into the lives of those around you:
Share the light of Christ with those around you. Do what you can to connect people to the beautiful community shaped around Christ.
Paul, in Colossians 1:3-4, says: "We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you for all his people."
You never know who may be on an ice flow: share the light this December!
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