December 29, 2020

My reflection today is from the President of the Ben David Prayer Group:
House of the Silversmith Ain-Karim
December 29, 0001
“Dear Christmas Friend,
You probably don’t remember us. But we know you a little bit…and we know what you are probably going through these days after Christmas.
So, at the conclusion of our prayer tonight, all the neighbors of Elizabeth and Zachariah wanted me to write you a letter to cheer you up. And to urge you to pray… maybe even form your own little prayer group back home.
Maybe you do remember us… vaguely. Our names are tucked into the gospel of Saint Luke. But so many important events took place at the time, our little claim to fame goes relatively unnoticed.
You may recall how Zachariah was struck done by an angel because he doubted God’s love. Then ‘his power of speech returned’ once his child was born. And we were there, all astonished. God was making himself known right before our eyes. It was wonderful.
Luke will record it very faithfully: ‘All the neighbors (that’s us!) we’re filled with awe and the whole affair was talked about throughout the hillcountry of Judea. And those who heard of it treasured it in their hearts.
Yes we did. It was easy at first, but then troubles came, ordinary problems, like the ones that get you down. Evil seemed to have the upper hand. (Look at what Herod did at Bethlehem! Many people have been nasty to each other. Grudges seem to be more powerful than love.
It was difficult to do what God wanted us to do. We knew we were supposed to keep treasuring the reality of love, that special gift of love ushered in by two most beautiful babies: John of Elizabeth and Zachariah and Jesus of Mary, the Son of God.
We had to get together to pray with each other, to keep alive the fires of wonder and thanksgiving.
You, too. There is evil in your world, also. Many things come up that can discourage you. Don’t let them push out the reality of Christmas. Get a friend to pray with you. Ask God to help you treasure in your hearts the good news of his personal love for you.
Remember, we will be with you. Each time our prayer group meets, we will include you in:
Our Love, in Christ,
The Neighbors”
Isaias Powers