As the light of winter days wanes early, may we cherish the warmth that leaves its passage so strongly upon icy hearts and stony spirits. Let us give thanks for the merciful who did not know that they would be called upon for mercy's sake today. Let us give thanks for the kind who were weary and worn when their kindness was most needed, and who showed up anyway. Let us give thanks for the generous who started today convinced they could not be enough and did not have enough, and who gave when needed, faithfully. Fear, anger, and weariness scamper through our hearts and chill us to the bone. But in these faithful witnesses, in these simple and yet so difficult practices, we find hope and warmth and wonder once again. Amen.