The Everything of Christmas
Today is my day off and I am starting to get some energy back. I have had a cold for about 2 weeks and it has really sapped me. I think it all started with going to a concert and drinking caffeinated coffee at 7 PM and then not sleeping - and within 24 hours I was coughing.
And then for the last two weeks my goal has been to keep my work to only 8 hours per day - which is a challenge with evening meetings and a women's retreat and just church life. But now, today, I am beginning to feel like myself again.
What amazes me about this time of the year is how rich is usually is. And what that means is that there is so much sadness and pain and joy and celebration all mixed up together.
For example on Friday: one member went into hospice, another to a nursing home and another had a (thankfully slight!) stroke. I also had lunch with Trixie who lost her beloved daughter Lisa a year ago.
At the same time, Chuck was preparing and serving his annual Christmas Tea which is truly a delight for so many people. The next day our evangelism team handed out 300 plus rolls of wrapping paper (FREE with an advertisement for our church) and our youth had their Christmas service party.
Yesterday, I preached about Mary and the fact that God continues to call each of us into "giving birth to Jesus" in our own way. And then in the afternoon visited and/or called the people in hospice, hospital and nursing home. And then we worshiped again in the evening.
and now today - Christmas shopping and having Addie and Reagan over to make cookies and the young adults to play games in the evening.
The everything of Christmas.
And, of course, this is life - with its mixture of good and bad, blessing and struggle, life and death - but somehow with the overlay of the festive and Christmas celebration, it seems like a lot more.
I write this in awe and wonder as I continue to see and to trust that God is at work in all of this. Bringing meaning and purpose to our times of celebration and abundance and help and support through the times of trial.
God is Good. All the time.