Merry Christmas! After a month of Advent, of waiting and anticipation and yearning, we are at the moment in the church year when we welcome the baby Jesus. Thanks be to God!
I love Christmas!
I love the memories of childhood…of my Mom and Dad tired but happy as they watched the joyful faces of my brother and me early on Christmas morning…of my grandparents who always had a flocked tree and spoiled us with too many gifts…of pictures with Santa and Mr. Bingle…of the chocolate covered ants that once made it onto the dinner table (true story)…of lights and sounds and tastes and smells that all added up to a bit of magic.
|I love the memories of being a youth…of going to church in the evening and singing “Silent Night!” with what seemed like a million candles…of finding out that having parents who loved sacrificially was even better than a jolly visitor from the North Pole…of getting to participate in the live nativity scene that we did at my church…of imagining that I was Mary, keeping all of these things that I was learning about Jesus and pondering them in my heart.
I love the reality of now…of knowing how deeply people need joy, the abiding joy that comes from God…of realizing that some years, Christmas is more painful than joyful as we miss people who have died – and that God’s presence is strongest in those years…of reflecting on the past and anticipating the future…of the continued joy of singing “Silent Night!” by candlelight…of hearing the angels proclaim that they have come to bring humankind “good news of great joy which shall be for all the people.”
“…For to you is born this day in the city of David a child, who is Christ the Lord.” This day and everyday, Christ is born into our lives, changing everything. Thanks be to God!
I hope to see many of you in worship this Friday at 5:00pm, where we will together welcome the Christ child once again. If you are traveling, may mercies and joy travel with you. And if you are with us via the live stream, may you experience the community of this body of believers.
Grace and peace,