A word from our Pastor
Many of us have traditions we observe, some might say, that we cling to every Christmas season. It is difficult to even imagine we might not be able to observe those traditions this year because of the Corona Virus. These traditions vary for each of us and they often trigger special memories of past Christmases. One of the traditions I have observed in the last several years is to reread Christmas stories which have touched my heart. I am sharing of my favorite stories published by Guide Post magazine written by Mary Ann Matthews. She wrote:
“Christmas comes at different times for me every year. I never know precisely when it will arrive or what will produce its spirit, but I can always be sure that it will happen.
Last year Christmas happened while I was visiting my parents in Conneaut, Ohio. The day was frightfully cold, with swirls of snow in the air, and I was looking out of the living room window of my folks’ home, which faces St. Mary’s Church. Workmen had just finished constructing the annual Nativity scene in the churchyard when school let out for the day. Children gathered excitedly around the crèche, but they didn’t stay long; it was far too cold for lingering.
All the children hurried away—except for a tiny girl of about six. The wind lashed at her bare legs and caused her coat to fly open in the front, but she was oblivious of the weather. All her attention was riveted on the statues before her. Which one I couldn’t tell. Was it Mary? The baby? The animals? I wondered.
And then I saw her remove her blue woolen headscarf. The wind quickly knotted her hair into a wild tangle, but she didn’t seem to notice that either. She had only one thought. Lovingly, she wrapped her scarf around the statue of Baby Jesus. After she had covered it, she patted the Baby and then kissed it on the cheek. Satisfied, she skipped on down the street, her hair frosted with ting diamonds of ice.
Christmas had come once again.”
When has the reality of Christmas come to you in the past? Has ‘Christmas come once again’ for you in unexpected ways and at unexpected times?
I remember many years ago when the reality of ‘Christmas came once again’ to me when my son, Steve, came home from college and told me wanted to spend his Christmas break helping others. He asked me to help him find ways to do that. He spent his break working in the church’s food pantry; helping pack and deliver Christmas baskets and gifts to needy families.
We can’t, at least I can’t, just conjure up those Christmas feelings because the reality of Christmas is so much more than a feeling. Feelings are fleeting because they are most often based on circumstances which are so changeable! When are circumstances aren’t ideal then too often neither are our feelings. However, the reality of Christmas is unchanging and steadfast. It comes again to us when the Holy Spirit moves in the ordinary events of our lives connecting us to the extraordinary truth of God’s transforming love for us revealed through the Word made flesh—Jesus, the babe of Bethlehem.
Won’t you join me in asking the Holy Spirit to allow ‘Christmas to come again’ to you each day of Advent? I also invite you to join me in reading the daily Joy in the Journey scriptures.
May the hope, peace, joy and love of Christ Jesus be yours today and always,