December 31, 2013

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.   John 1:14

As of tomorrow, there will only be one resident left on Liberty Island—Lady Liberty herself.

People have lived on the small spit of land that’s home to the Statue of Liberty for at least 200 years, reports an article in The New York Times, beginning from when it was a military reservation, and then to care for the iconic figure. The current superintendent, David Luchsinger, and his wife actually haven’t resided there since Hurricane Sandy wrecked their home on the island last year; they’ve been staying in New Jersey. But today is his final day on the job, and the house will not be rebuilt. “I’m officially the last resident of Liberty Island,” Luchsinger said in the article.

Naturally, security will still be in place. And of course there are millions of visitors to the park every year. But going forward, no one will ever inhabit the island again.

We’ve just finished the celebration of Christmas, commemorating the birth of Jesus, God in human form. We’ve come through our annual struggle to keep Christ the reason for the season, not always easy amidst the commercialization that bombards us earlier and earlier (Thanksgiving, it seems, is just a blip on the calendar in the frantic march from October and December).

But the coming of Immanuel—God with us, a designation from Isaiah 7:14—isn’t meant to be a one-time observance: it’s something to be reflected upon every day! Jesus promised His followers, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep my word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him” (John 14:23). After His resurrection, He reiterated that pledge: “I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).

Our mortal minds can’t fully grasp this concept, but we don’t need to—all we have to do is rest in the guarantee that Jesus is always there. He doesn’t retire, isn’t threatened by storms and never leaves.

No matter what tempests assail us in 2014, let’s hang on to that assurance!



  1. Cousin Beth says:

    Hi Penny – What a great reflection to end this year with, and carry into the next year. Our services at The Orchard have all reflected on God With Us — the Hope of the World. It is a comfort to pack this promise into our daily lives.

    In the Chicago area, we are being beset with more snow. Carol arrives home from Virginia tonight and I’ll be glad to know she has landed safely before our winter weather affects her flight.

    Wishing you and your family God’s blessings in 2014, and we are looking forward to the special Jeopardy show in January.

    Love in Christ, Beth (and Bruce)

  2. Penny says:

    Thanks, cousin! I feel for you with all the snow you’re getting…

    For all of you that haven’t heard, my daughter will be on Jeopardy! January 13.

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