Last night we left all our Christmas lights on when we went to bed to symbolize the coming of light into the world in the little child whose birth we celebrate this day. This child is the embodiment of the four words that are the title of this post. As i sat in the silence this morning, with the lights of the Christmas tree twinkling, i thought of the immensity of God, of this great mind that created all that was and is and will come to be, and i wondered how could such a mind so large as to be incomprehensible be concerned for one insignificant person like me. i can't comprehend it, but i can comprehend the love i feel for this little child in the manger and the love that child teaches us. Here is the embodiment of the love of God in terms i /we can understand. i am not concerned this morning about the mystery of incarnation, about questions of theology; i am only concerned with hope, joy, peace, and (especially) love.
i made a conscious decision to quit using the capital "I" in referring to the first person singular in my devotional writing to symbolize my own quest to make the love that flows from God through the teachings of Jesus the center of my life, to acknowledge that there is one great "I am" that is the cause of all things and that this person who "i am" has no greater calling than to become a reflection of a love that is so powerful that all things flow from it.
The rule of God is just that: hope, joy, peace, love. We are subjects of God's rule and our greatest service is to allow God who is around us in everything and in us to become the ruler of our hearts. My prayer for each person is that you will be filled with the magic and mystery of Christmas and that all of us will carry that magic and mystery with us through all the days of our lives.