Forest Lake Talks

A Message from Ellen 12-7-22

December 7, 2022

December 7, 2022

I heard this week from a member who has a friend who is grieving the loss of a child that was stillborn. The friend shared how very difficult it was for her to celebrate Christmas when the focus is so much on the birth of a baby and on being jolly. The FLPC member shared with her FLPC’s Advent Wreath guide on Hope and Longing where we name our deepest hopes and most heartfelt needs.

Because we know grief . . . .  we light a candle for comfort.

Because we know despair . . .  we light a candle for hope.

Because we know division . . . . we light a candle for community.

Because we know anger . . . . we light a candle for peace.

Because we need a savior . . . . . we light the Christ Candle.

This Christmas, remember that Advent is about longing and hoping for better, and remember that in our own hearts and all around us are those who are grieving, despairing, who are divided and angry.  We have good news to offer!  And that is the purpose of John 1:5 Day.

On Wednesday, December 21st, there are more hours of darkness than there are of light.  But after that day, the darkness begins to recede, and the light hours get longer.  So, we have named the winter solstice John 1:5 Day, because “the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.”

So – on that day (or during the week of December 21st), we ask that you do something to bring light into the darkness that you see.  Offer peace into a situation of anger. Extend the hand of community to someone with whom you feel division. Send a message of  hope and love to those who feel that their lives or situations are hopeless. Express comfort to those who are grieving.  Look up and around and identify one small bit of darkness in the world around you and do something about that darkness.

We cannot fix the darkness. That is God’s job. And that is what God is up to in the person of Jesus Christ.  But, as followers of Christ, we carry on the ministry that Jesus began.  What you do does not have to be big, but it needs to be specific to the darkness you see around you. I’d love to hear what you do.  And this would be a GREAT FAMILY discussion about where we see darkness and how we can bring light. Light in the darkness might be as simple as a card, call, or text. Or it might be a gift to those who are lights in the darkness. You might choose a service project to address the darkness you see. 

In the spirit of Christmas and after the example of Jesus, I charge you to figure out how to bring light to some specific darkness next week.  If you are on the Church Facebook page, consider sharing your experience there.  If you are not on Facebook, email the church at  I’d love to know specifically how FLPC became a light in the darkness. 

See you in worship!

Ellen Fowler Skidmore

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