From a Pastor's Desk

A series of opinion articles from rostered ministers and lay leaders from our Synod.


Advent Blessings

Dec 02, 2018

By The Rev. John P Saraka


This past week we celebrated Abraham's birthday, and as Shannon and I shed tears of joy that day, we also thought back on the past year and just how terrifying it was. Most know that Abraham came to us during the 23rd week of pregnancy, at 1 lb and 5 oz. He was so frail, and that beautiful smile and face that lights up so many lives, we weren't able to see for many weeks because his eyes were covered because of the needed blue light, he had a breathing tube coming out of his mouth along with tape on his cheeks. And then the surgeries and the mounting days of anxiety. Fortunately, we are in a place that has one of the best NICU's (Newborn, or Neonatal, Intensive Care Unit) in the nation, and Abraham got the best care from the doctors and nurses here. We also had a group of other parents who while we would be at the NICU would tell us stories of hope about their own premies...my daughter is 36 and doing great...my son is 23 and in college now. At the scariest time, it gave us hope. 

On Abraham's birthday, we took him back to the NICU to say thanks to the doctors and nurses who saw him through to this celebration, and while we were there as we were waiting for the elevator, it was our turn to listen to a young mother who had a child in the NICU, already 41 days, and it was our turn to introduce her to Abraham and hopefully give her some hope, or at the very least, let her know she is not alone on the journey. 

This is why Advent is so important. Yes, Christmas is great with the lights and beautiful music, but we also need to know that HOPE and LOVE come to us in the midst of the most terrifying and scariest of places. That LOVE wanted us to know that we are never alone as we wait in that space of sorrow. This is when LOVE sits with and accompanies us. Please remember that you are not alone in the spaces of grief and struggle. Love is born among us and HOPE draws near. 

Blessed Sunday family.
Be LOVE today.