Monday, December 26, 2011

'Tis the Second Day of Christmas

Christmas Day at Maul Hall!
Tis the Second Day of Christmas and it's quiet in our house. 'Cause the whole world's out shopping, (LOL) even my spouse!
Yes, folks, I admit it, I'm messing up today's blog post with inspirational couplets in the spirit of "The Night Before Christmas." I know, it's a cheap writing vehicle, but the first one jumped into my brain and it just took it from there.
I've Skyped with my grandson, talked with Naomi by via text, Facebook messaged with Andrew and I wonder what's next? The trash is all piled by the chimney with care,  In hopes that the garbage truck soon will be there.
And it gets worse! The first item I saw on the news this morning was a "Decision 2012" update and the next thing I knew the following came to mind:
More vapid than usual the candidates came. Trump whistled and shouted and called them by name: Now Gingrich, now Bachmann, now Paul, Perry, Romney -  Via media outlets your presence is omni.  To the top of the polls? Got your back to the wall?  Please dash away! Rush away! Go away all!

Seriously, though, it has been so refreshing to concentrate on the promise of Christmas over the past few days. Giving, family and worship have all been front and center, and so it's no surprise that peace and hope and love and joy have come along with the package.
Worship at First Presbyterian on Christmas Eve was magical. Around 750 people showed up for the two services. Rebekah's message was simple - "God says do not be afraid." There's so much that seems to churn us up inside, even to the point of missing the Christmas message because we're upset about this, or that, or worried that Christmas needs saving in some way. But Christmas is about God reaching in to this broken world and saving us. Because of God's great initiative, we do not have to fear. All we need to do is to live in love.

Then we were surprised and delighted to receive a sanctuary full with people Christmas morning. Such a wonderful treat to have Christmas Day on a Sunday. Then, that afternoon, Rebekah and I returned to church as she'd been invited to preach at the Korean worship service.

It's always fun to watch Rebekah work with a translator. Several times she watched and listened carefully as pastor Kim translated her 30-second paragraph into two minutes of animated Korean, punctuated by loud AMENs from the congregation. "Did I really say that?" she'd ask... and he'd always reply, "Oh yes... exactly!"

Christmas Brunch with the Blacks
So here's the real point of today's post. It's a question: Are we any different than we were a few days ago? Have we allowed - are we willing to allow - Jesus to infiltrate our lives any more because of Christmas?
I heard the Shepherds exclaim, walking into the night... "Will these Christians be moved - like we were - by this sight?" And the Magi agreed, as they rose from their knees, "Our eyes have been opened, our spirits are freed.... But what of these Christians? sure, they sing and they pray.... But is Jesus this welcome at home, every day?"

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