Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Eve Morning

And the day begins in the sanctuary in prayer. This is my last time on this last day of Advent.

Gerrie reads from the devotional that "The Song Goes On" and I immediately think of the sermon I preached Sunday quoting Anne Lamott's story about her friend dying of ALS. And saying at the end of her life that "The beat goes on." And I write today:
"The song goes on.
The beat goes on.
Life goes on and I watch and wonder and sometimes participate.
My 64th Christmas is upon me and I wonder at it all. The older I get the more aware I am of the injustice in the world, the fearsome struggles of some lives, the dark places of all lives. - illness, loss and suffering. To be a child and the experience of unadulterated joy is such a memory.

And I begin this day to remember the joy, the good news, the wonder and the light.
Because I also know in this 64th year - that death does not have the last word, that suffering lasts for a season and that life continues to bring forth life.

And I also know this truth - it is love that makes the world go around.
Gracious love that forgives our sin
Creating love that guides us into new places and new ways of living
Uniting love that brings us together
Joyful love that sits in wonder at the star in the night, the sleeping baby, the pondering mother, the simple shepherds and the seeking wise men.

This scene during this season has been in my consciousness since I was a child. Sitting on mantles or cabinets. And truly this story in all of its fullness continues to speak to me over the decades of my life. I cannot explain what it means to me anymore than I can explain the tears I shed yesterday listening to "The Messiah" on the radio. It is about memory and meaning and hope.

Christ come. Again. To me. To us.
To bring light and peace and love.