A Thrill of Hope

I can’t get through the stanza without a catch in my throat and tears in my eyes.

A thrill of hope

the weary world rejoices

This year has been one challenge after another. From a global level to the very personal, this year has been one in which I’ve grown weary. There were stretches in which it seemed we could not catch our collective breath before being struck with another blow.

And yet there is hope.

We see it in small faces and large reforms. We see it in people standing up for what is right and good and true. We see people coming together to bring a meal or to hold a hand.

For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.

2017 has brought more than we have believed we could bear. And yet tomorrow comes, the hope renews. If you look back in the song, the words speak to a place of longing.

Long lay the world in sin and error pining,

I understand that. It is so easy to look ahead or behind, to wish, to wonder. To get caught in the place where we are not cherishing, not fully loving, not fully living. We want more, we want relief. Perhaps you’re feeling paralyzed by circumstances, perhaps you feel unworthy or incapable of change. And then, the change comes.

Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.

With his appearance, comes the knowledge of our absolute worth. Despite choices in our past, despite the voice that breeds doubt and shame. Despite circumstances, status, wealth or any other measurement that so easily distracts us from the meaning of our time here on earth. No matter where you are this season, you are worthy. It is a message I need often need to hear.

Whether the celebration of Christ’s birth is part of your faith or your holiday, the last stanza of the version by John Sullivan Dwight challenges us to be the change we need to see in this world. In 2018, I challenge you and myself to love, to fight for the oppressed, and to live in peace with one another. Merry Christmas, friends.

Truly He taught us to love one another;

His law is love and His gospel is peace.

Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother;

And in His name all oppression shall cease.

Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,

Let all within us praise His holy name.

Christ is the Lord! O praise His Name forever,
His power and glory evermore proclaim.
His power and glory evermore proclaim.

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Being a stay- at-home mom can leave one thirsting for a taste of the outside world, a world in which sentences are composed of more than three words. Being an educator means one is always seeking an opportunity to explore and learn. Being a woman with a need to connect can be a challenge when adult conversations are rare. In wine, I find the marriage of art and science, agriculture and storytelling provides limitless areas to explore. But it is the people that keep me engaged. The tenacity needed to keep the family dream alive, the risk to start anew, the trials and principles. I love the history of the vine, the impact of a season, the sentiment in the bottle. That is why I write. I write to tell their stories, to share a piece of mine. I write to learn as I teach others. I write to connect with new friends, to disconnect from the world. I write to celebrate what makes each of us unique, and that which ties us together.

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