Archive for ◊ January, 2014 ◊

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• Monday, January 13th, 2014

I’m sorry to report that I missed the entire holiday season at my church this year.  It was certainly not intentional. Family commitments, poorly time Sunday social events and a snow storm that shut down the church meant that the four weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas did not have me sitting in a pew singing Christmas carols with my church family.

I didn’t even realize it was happening.  One week passed, then another, then the snow storm and then I was out of state for a family gathering for a week. Now my tree is put away, the decorations are down and I’m looking around and saying “what happened?!”  But more than been confounded by how the time got away from me and my church time, I have felt a deep sense of loss.

Like so many people during this time of year, I allowed the outside world to take me away from what I treasure about the holiday season. Quiet times listening to the story of the birth of Jesus, rousing carol singing and holiday fellowship with church friends.

In last week’s blog, Gretchen wrote about how Jesus survives no matter what (I loved that blog). And I realize that – although disappointed – my sense of the baby Jesus and Christmas also survived no matter what.
And, indeed, I did find some quiet times over the holiday in which Christmas was alive and well in my life in spite of me not physically being in my church building.  I shared joyous time with my family, was enraptured by wonderful church music on the radio and television and I enjoyed the company of dear and sharing friends.  Christmas existed for me – but not in my preferred traditional way.
I won’t allow myself to miss my church services next Christmas.  But I will happily acknowledge that Christmas spirit can exist anytime and anywhere.  We just have to be open to that spirit.