A friend of mine loves to say that there are two kinds of people in the world. First, there are those who love the month of December with all the bells and whistles. Then there are the people who bury their heads and pray for January to come quickly! I love January but I fall full speed ahead into the first “I love December” group!
I love the holidays. I enjoy children’s programs, music of the season, gatherings of friends, family tables, and the experience of worshiping together on Christmas Eve. I like the lights, the trees, and the opportunity to read the Gospel accounts of the birth of Jesus. It really is the most wonderful time of the year!
December has a way of stirring our imagination and our memory. We remember the days of joy and celebration. We decorate the tree with mementos and ornaments that hold special meaning to our lives. And we begin to imagine what the New Year will reveal.
Those same processes happen in the life of the church. We will be blessed by the Messiah and the music of children. We will remember candlelight worship services from the past and enjoy the spirit of waiting as we prepare for the Bethlehem manger once again. We wait together and build new memories with new friends. It is a season of joy.
Joy is an interesting journey. It is that unique feeling of knowing that all is well and that hope will prevail. It is the inner warmth of a smile when a neighbor says yes to our invitation to join in Christmas worship. It is the blessing of peace that arrives when candles are lifted high while voices unite to sing Silent Night, Holy Night. The Bible says that joy comes in the morning but we know that joy is likely to arrive anytime we are in relationship with God and with one another.
My prayer for you is simple. I pray that your imagination and your memory will be fully alive in Christ as we travel once again to his place of birth. And I pray that you (and your home) will be filled with a spirit of joy. God has been good to us! Let is celebrate the Lord together.
Yours in Christ,