Dear First Church Family,
Where is Christmas?
As the day itself approaches, familiar signs of twinkling lights and evergreens appear to be multiplying, crowded parking lots and the first snow accumulate, and best of all, Christmas cookies arrive not only as treats at coffee hour but also at ordinary meetings and reception desks. These symbols comfort us from years or decades of celebration, whether we are young or old. Wafting Christmas carols in the air make us festive, and smells of cinnamon and cloves and candy canes send us back in our memories. Yet we are never sure in which moment or place we will find Christmas this year. The always – unexpected joy is from a God who has loved the world so thoroughly that the One chose to enter our lives through an ordinary birth in a rudimentary shelter. We all know the story, although like most beloved narratives it has become embellished and burnished over the years like a precious stone. Sometimes it is the meditation on what’s below the gloss that provides our deepest joy: The single candle in a dark window that shines like a supernova to announce the arrival. A rough brush of homespun fabric to remember newborns round the world needing love and care. Grey sky providing background to a memory of bells or trumpets breaking into the ordinary stillness.
You will know the moment when it comes, whether it be the glow of Silent Night in your neighbor’s face; or whether it comes when you know that your contribution has brought food or a gift for someone in need; or whether it is felt in the heart’s tug of holding a newborn whose peace is now and whose future may be the road of hope.
This Christmas season I hope you will all be searching, and yet, not too hard, because you may miss it if you focus too fiercely. Be open to the call of the spirit from new directions. Perhaps the “where” may be at one of the worship gatherings we are offering. Perhaps it will be in one of the “Share Christmas” opportunities or an extra gift for the work of the church.. Perhaps it is revealed in a word or a song or a hope that flits through your world as just a glimpse.
Catch that moment of joy, and share it. Be that light that may help someone else to find their way home this Christmastide. Join us for worship. Join us in generosity. Join us in joy.
Please use this LINK to make a “Christmas Offering” to the ministries of First Congregational Church. Thank you.