I am blessed to live on the Hudson River and look out on a beautiful park filled with glorious trees. I watch the seasons come and go, buds form, leaves bloom, colors turn, leaves fall until the barrenness arrives.
It always comes as a surprise, stark and surreal those barren branches. The very same tree that only a few months ago was filled with glory and beauty, was green and alive, is now filled with gaping holes and not a smudge of green to be seen.
In my heart I know this will not be forever. My task right now is to watch and wait. To sit patiently near the window and wait as, bit by bit, day by day, the green comes back again. New buds will form. New life will emerge.
I must be patient and wait for it because what seems right now to be persistent barrenness will not be that way forever.
Today the hope of a newborn child is born into the world. Christ comes to bring green to the barren places. Christ comes to show us the way. Christ comes to sit with us at the window waiting, watching for the new life that is to come. Hope has come. Christ is born to the world.
A blessed Christmas to you all.
Reverend Dr. Elise Brown, Executive Minister, Marble Collegiate Church