This year has been hard…
In our congregation we’ve had a lot to work through. Change. Birth. Death. Growth. Capital Campaign. Fear. And that was just the first half of 2008. Then the economy crashed…
The bankers, stock-advisors and contractors were hit first. Some quietly went bankrupt while others still cling tenuously to their jobs. The shockwave surged out from there, engulfing many in its path. Money is tight all around – and people are scared.
By all reckoning, this should be a blue Christmas.
And yet, this Advent season has been a time of great warmth and light for our congregation. I have been humbled and awed by the generosity of these people in this time:
-The women saddened because someone else had already taken the tag they wanted off the angel tree – the tag for a teenager who wants an ipod
-The teenager silently slipping $20 bills out of his wallet for a special Christmas offering
-The choir members creating the perfect care package for a family who may spend Christmas in the waiting areas of a Children’s Hospital while their two year old fights for his life
These people remind me daily what Christmas is really about: light in a time of darkness.
Just as Christmas is celebrated as the days reclaim their power after the longest night of the year, our observance of the holiday – our remembrance of Christ’s birth as a part of God’s unexpected and unusual plan for the world – brings increased life and light into our homes, our hearts and our lives.
In times such as these, we need Christmas. When children teeter on the verge of death, we need the Christ-child. When the finances are failing and things seem so very dark, we need the light of hope that spreads among Advent-minded people. When all we can feel is the chill of fear and the numbness of grief, we desperately need the warm glow of God’s love revealed in the birth of that tiny, vulnerable baby.
When the world is falling apart, we need Christmas.
And the miracle of it all is that no matter what each passing year gives or takes away, Christmas always comes.