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Chaplaincy

 Saturday, First Week of Advent
 
"The angel said to the shepherds, 'Do not be afraid.' " --Luke 2:10
 

The Angel's Good News

I was always a skittish kid, with definite first-born tendencies. I thought too much and wasn?t big on taking chances. Mud was to be avoided at all costs. In kindergarten, I slaved over the obligatory macaroni wreath and assembled it with careful pasta precision. As Christmas approached, I was always gripped with a tingly combination of excitement and fear at the thought of talking to Santa. Sure, I wanted to?how else would he know what I wanted? But there he was, in that glassed-in Winter Wonderland at Sears, looming large and red and all-knowing. THAT, I figured out years later, was the problem. Santa knew everything! In my child?s mind, Santa was God. White beard? Check. Bigger than life? Check. Knows all of my faults and missteps? Check. No wonder I could barely bleat out my annual request for Legos.
 
Years later I came to realize that God was not at Sears and is not compiling spreadsheets of everything I?ve ever done wrong. It finally dawned on me that, unlike the mall Santas, God is not walled away, accessible only for brief and timid annual chats. God came to this earth, through his Son Jesus, to live among our poor and tired and sick; to teach and heal and comfort even the lowliest of people. Knowing that, I finally understood that the angel was right, we need not be afraid. Ever.
 
--Mary S. Collis
Science Stockroom & Facility Coordinator