I’m pretty sure nobody was dreaming of a muddy Christmas, but it appears muddy is what southern Indiana gets this year. All the same, our house is full of college students: mine and a couple of extra. Our oldest and her husband come in Christmas Eve Day. My best-in-the-whole-world girlfriend and her daughter arrive on the weekend. If Christmas is going to be overdone, let it be overdone with friends and family all in one house laughing, eating and treasuring one another.
The season has its edges too. I always miss my parents more at Christmas, thinking about how much of my kids’ lives they didn’t see, how proud of them they’d be. I can’t not see the people around me for whom the season is not merry and bright. The poor fare a little better this season when the rest of us are slightly more generous. But the lonely are especially lonely and the grieving are especially sad. Wars grind to stalemate and the dying never stops. Refugees hunker down and politicians blather on.
So it is that Christmas time is ordinary time with a layer of tinsel on top; spring-loaded with joy and sorrow, with good and evil, peace and war around every stop and turn. One day it’s muddy and then a perfect snow blankets the mess. Bullets fly in one neighborhood while kids sled through another. Faith takes it all in with the humility to be grateful for the good and with the courage to push back against the evil, knowing that in Christ we have all we need for our lives and our life together in this world.
I hope to see you Christmas Eve at 7:30, friends. We’ll share music, scripture and communion. The service lasts less than an hour. Bring a friend.
~ peace & prayers,