Wednesday Word: Christmas
Christmas is, seemingly, only hours away. And, to be honest, with all my talk of waiting and preparation, I will have to confess that I am not all that prepared.
Empty boxes of Christmas decorations still litter the house. Thanks to Joelene, at least the majority of our Christmas cards have been mailed out; but other than putting them in the blue box, I really didn't have anything to do with that. The dining room table is cluttered with any number of pieces of mail, scraps of wrapping paper, shopping lists, tape, and I-know-not-what-else. Currier and Ives we are not.
I am, however, (mostly) ready for Christmas at St. John's. I have one sermon written and two to go. Thanks to Joelene, Paul, and the J2A group, the Christmas pageant is taken care of. Thanks to Joyce and the Altar Guild, the church will be ready and look like Christmas on time. Thanks to Mark and the choir, the church will sound like Christmas. Thanks to Kristy and Chad, our acolytes have been scheduled and are ready to go. Things are coming together.
And, if you haven't noticed, this Christmas is different from other Christmases in a long time because it falls on Monday. The last time Christmas was on Monday was in 2006. I was still in Montana.
Christmas on Monday poses an interesting problem in the church because the day before is both the Fourth Sunday of Advent as well as Christmas Eve. This can be a stressful time for clergy, musicians, altar guild, parish secretaries, spouses of all the above, and any number of other people involved in the life of the church. But nobody said that being a worshiping community, let alone a Christian, would always be easy. There are times when things aren't as convenient as we would like.
With that in mind, I would encourage you to participate as fully as possible this coming weekend – both on Advent IV, Christmas Eve, and Christmas morning. We are a community that worships, and sometimes, like Holy Week or when Christmas falls on a Monday, that means we have the opportunity to worship God many times in a condensed period of time.
However you choose or are able to celebrate this Christmas, whether your home resembles a Currier and Ives photograph or not, whether you are traveling or staying home, whether you are hosting parties or have been invited as guests, may you remember to breathe these next few days and may you have a most blessed Christmas season.
In closing, I will leave you with a Christmas video of St. John's from 2011 that our own Helen Stevens put together. Some of the faces have changed and some new faces are missing, but it is a lovely visual of this place in this season that is our spiritual home: