From the Pastor
On the way out of church on Sunday, one of you said to me: “After the year we’ve had, I need Christmas more than ever.”
We’d just had a particularly joy-filled worship—we lit the “Joy” candle on the Advent wreath, watched a silly but lovely video of the Christmas story from the always awesome Salt Project, sang some good songs, heard some good scripture, shared the feast together, like we always do. And then, of course, there was the children’s pageant. (It’s the Christmas story plus adorable kids, someone else said to me later that afternoon. You can’t really go wrong.)
It’s true, they were adorable, and there were the predictable small goof-ups that make for a really good pageant: The star refused to stand still when he took his place behind the manger. One of the angels got mixed in with the shepherds. One of the magi’s crowns was too big and kept falling into her eyes. But those kids told that story well. That story of surprising good news, of how God comes into our chaotic, messy world when we least expect it, of how God assures us—even as the world gets turned upside down—that we need not be afraid.
I thought of our children this morning—our children, warm and safe, pulling costumes from a well-stocked closet to tell a story we’ve heard a hundred times before. I thought of our children this morning as I listened to the news out of Aleppo, where children are huddled in war-ravaged homes, trapped in buildings with no escape, while the world destroys them.
They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and study war no more, says the prophet Isaiah.
He has brought down the powerful from their thrones and lifted up the lowly, sings Mary.
Advent is the season when we acknowledge that the world is not as it should be. Advent is the season when we linger in the darkness and face the shadows head on.
The world is not right. We need the poets and the prophets and the songwriters and the storytellers to show us what could be.
We need Christmas more than ever.
Come, Lord Jesus, come.
Come, Emmanuel, come.
Peace be with you as we wait and watch for the light,