What? No church on Christmas?

by susan on December 23, 2016

nativity-windowOne of the highlights of my year is our Community Christmas Eve Gathering with Church Without Walls, St. John’s Lutheran Church & the neighbors, family & friends who decide to join us. I love it because it’s simple & deeply symbolic. Standing on a street corner with a crowd of people, many of whom are homeless, reminds me of the hard truth of Christmas. The hard truth is that Christ’s coming was less like a magical fairy tale & much more like real life. It was filled with both beauty and brokenness (the beauty was probably easier to see in retrospect). As we gather outdoors each Christmas Eve, I’m reminded of this truth through the prayers, the smells, the smiles, the broken bread & the hugs.

That will be our only gathering this Christmas weekend.

Wait. What? No church on Christmas?

Well, not exactly. We will not be having a gathering, but by all means be the church. Celebrate the truth of Christmas, enjoy the gifts of God & remember what it means to welcome Christ in the hungry & hurting among us. I seriously doubt you need suggestions of what to do instead of coming together, but just in case, here are a few ideas:

Give your undivided presence. Listen, laugh, wonder, pay attention.

Go for a walk & enjoy the beauty of the river, beach, trees & land.

Listen to & reflect on a song.

Reflect on how you are making room for Christ to be born again…again.

Sit with someone who’s suffering.  Share a meal or a cup of coffee.

Write a prayer.

Savor good food & time with family or friends.

Enjoy rest.

Meditate on an image like the one above:  Nativity Window (Photo by Mark Waddington, Yorkshire on Flickr).

Whatever you do & wherever you are, I hope you experience the presence & power of Emmanuel –  God with us – wherever we find ourselves. Merry Christmas!

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