Beginnings are always an ideal time to look both to the past and to the future.  It requires little effort to look back over this past year to know the hard times this nation has faced. The pandemic has affected us all in so many ways, but it is no secret that many families are experiencing financial distress during these times of economic recession. The poor, as usual, bear the brunt of the sluggish economy.  But even the middle class seems not to have escaped the impact of harder times. Some are in desperate straits, and others on the verge of medical and financial disaster. The evidence increases of the growing need for assistance.  IOKDS has responded generously in its support of local community nonprofits that serve in particular the food insecurities of many in this pandemic: Meals on Wheels, food pantries, and thrift stores. As we look to the future, I anticipate a high level of support for our new President to bring us together in genuine solidarity with all those that feel the pinch of hard times, the hope of a vaccine to confront this Covid 19 virus, and a return to the extraordinary vitality and energy that has characterized IOKDS and the Christian Community.

The season of Advent and Christmas reminds us of all the reasons for this season: we are motivated by faith in a God who comes to us in human flesh and gets involved in the ordinary life of our many everyday concerns. Despite the burdens we bear in these hard times, let us “make room” for God in our lives in quiet prayer and deep listening to the call of God in the word of scripture. Let us prepare the way of the Lord by discovering how to “make room” for God in our lives this Advent/Christmas season.

Rev. Dr. Sam R. Miglarese
First Presbyterian Church
Associate Pastor Retired
Durham, NC

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