This is the season in which we celebrate the Good News given to us by a child. What a delight it was, then, to see the story of Jesus’ birth enacted by the children of our church last Sunday! There were Joseph and Mary, looking particularly cute and a little bit ornery. There were the angels, some more angelic than others. Shepherds and animals gathered ‘round the manger. Wise Men worked to follow the star and hold onto their crowns. The Drummer Boy drummed enthusiastically. All conveyed without a doubt that we have received the best gift ever in the Christ Child!
Thank you to all the teachers to worked so hard to make the Christmas program happen; to parents and grandparents for the effort that it takes to get children to Sunday school, worship and practices; to all the musicians who shared their gift of music; and to the people of our congregation who offered support and encouragement to our youngest church family members by the gift of your presence.
The word manger comes from a French word that means to eat. It is something to ponder that the baby Jesus was laid in a feeding trough and 2000 years later, sharing the bread and cup, his body and blood, is a sacrament of the church. Holy Communion reminds us that every meal is sacred; that eating together and giving thanks together creates union with one another, and for those with eyes to see, with God. The Senior High Youth fed us well after our worship service! Thank you to the youth and the leaders for the opportunity to commune with one another over delicious food!
Our third graders received Bibles during worship Sunday. As I watched them with their parents standing behind them, I was deeply aware of the sacred stories they held in their hands. These are the stories that help us see God and help us see who we humans are. These are the stories of human failure and God’s forgiveness; the stories of hope and promise; the stories of Jesus birth and life and death and resurrection; the stories of the church and the sacraments of Holy Communion and baptism. These are the stories that shape us and form us into the people God has created us to be. And sometimes, because of these stories, we have beautiful children’s Christmas programs and delicious meals. Sometimes, because of these stories, parents beam with pride and grandparents’ eyes sparkle with tears.
There is hope. There is promise. There is Good News indeed.
On the journey with you,