It’s beginning to feel like the new tradition for Christmas Eve is being unable to go to church. Service is cancelled at St. Columba, Belleville and tomorrow morning’s service is cancelled at St. Andrew’s, Stirling.
This is not a complaint – too many stories of people getting stuck or in accidents. The good thing about matters of the Spirit: we don’t have to BE together to be TOGETHER.
In my family, we are blessed: Matthew took the train into Belleville before the storm began, I’ve been at Mom and Dad’s since late November when we shut down the farmhouse for the winter, we have power and heat, food and good wine. Really, we have too many blessings to count.
So I don’t mind that it’s another Christmas that is different than we would have liked. I’ve learned in the last few years to let go of what I’d imagined and to be thankful for what is.
And just like the Who’s down in Whoville, I know that Christmas comes anyway. The Saviour is born in us this night. And He will continue in us every time we love God by loving others. Let’s be together in seeking ways to do that, the whole year through.
Merry Christmas, everyone! May you be safe and comfortable. May you know the joy of Christ’s birth. May you be together in faith, even if you must spend time alone this year. May the God who is with us, tend to your heart and soul.
We are in the last week of Advent, just a few days from Christmas Eve and then Christmas Day. I admit after finishing my final assignment for school, I’ve been relaxing, and enjoying time with my parents. I’ve generally been too lazy to blog.
But I came across something too good to NOT blog about. So I wanted to share it with you.
For the last few years the world has seemed like a deep dark place. This helped me to remember that when the dark descends, when it presses in close, that doesn’t mean that grace has departed. It means that Grace is waiting to be reborn.
This Advent, may you know the love that outlives death. May you hold to grace, even when the world is dark. May you be reborn.
Today I’m sharing two songs of the season that I love. The first is Enya’s White is in the Winter Night. While not especially sacred, there is something about this song that always touches me. It seems to capture the excitement and magic of Christmas in a way that I find hard to put into words. I just know I love it and I want to share it with others:
The second is Bethlehem Town by Jars of Clay. I love that it assumes that Mary and Joseph know what will happen to Jesus. I love that it tries to understand their struggle between their faith in God, and their love for the child He entrusted to them. (I’m also referencing it in my sermon tomorrow, so it’s been on my mind!)
May this music bless you as we continue to travel through the Advent Season.
(This one is coming in late, because it’s exams/finals week!)
That’s hard, right?
I mean, I find it hard. Especially after the last few years, when we have faced trials of many kinds.
I find it hard that a democratic nation is being decimated in war.
I find it hard to reconcile a worldwide pandemic and the difficulties suffered in less-able nations.
I find it hard to deal with the reality of supply-chain issues which affect my daily life.
I find it hard to deal with climate change and the very real impact it has on my friends, and my local reality.
I find it hard that democracy is facing challenges we could not have imagined a decade ago.
I find it hard that our politics are divided and growing further apart, every day.
I just find it hard to consider it joy as we faces trials of many kinds.
And yet, this is what the New Testament in Christ Jesus calls me to do: consider it joy, because in these trials God calls us closer, in these trials, we get to know Jesus, in these trials the Holy Spirit moves our hearts towards compassion and kindness.
It may be hard. It WILL be hard, but in all of this, our faith is made complete.
This Advent, may you find joy in the midst of trials. May you know that God will always make away. May you find the sea parted before you.
Today is the Advent Sunday of Joy. This is typically marked by lighting the third candle of the Advent wreath – a candle of a different colour (often pink, where the others are purple or blue).
The different colour of the candle is meant to stand out and be noticed – this is the point in Advent when we move from the quiet, solemn waiting of early advent, to the joy and celebration of the coming of the Christ.
I know Christmas isn’t the most joyful time of the year for some. Those who have lost a loved one or are struggling just to get through the days, may find it difficult to enter into joy. Still, I hope joy comes to everyone – whether it is the quiet joy of contentment or the boisterous and noisy joy that is held up as an ideal at this time of year. You see – joy doesn’t have to be loud to be real. And even a small amount of joy goes a long way.
So this Advent, may you experience joy and may you share it with others. May you know that however joy comes to you, it is real and important and a part of the celebration.
Yesterday I was feeling contemplative and quiet. Today, I’m feeling a bit more rock-star-ish. And there isn’t much that can compare for rock star Christmas vibes with For King and Country’s live version of Drummer Boy:
I encourage you to seek out their Live from Phoenix album, as well as their Christmas studio album. They feature heavily on my Christmas rotation.
May the music of this season bring you joy as you celebrate the Saviour!