Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Prepare the Way

It's finally hit me: this season's time of busyness. And I've go a sore throat.

In preparing the way I've got the following to prepare:
  • A Longest Night service tomorrow evening.
  • A funeral on Saturday for a beautiful 92 year old who reminded me of my Grandma, esp. her beautiful white hair.
  • Two services for Sunday
And while Sunday is Christmas Eve, it is not "eve" until after sun down and thus during the day it is the 4th Sunday of Advent. That means two different services--even though most folks will probably only be attending one or the other; why go to church twice on one day if you can have the convenient excuse of hosting "family". I fear some are using that excuse to stay away altogether, too bad, because when they do they are missed, more than that they really do miss out on the gift of grace that is given when the people of God gather....but I digress. Come see us defy the laws of physics while two things (4th Sunday of Advent and the celebration of Christmas Eve) occupy the same space at the same time on Sunday MORNING!

Following is a picture of the season that I wanted to share, to remind you and me that our preparation isn't all about us, nor is it about this crunch of time, but it is indeed timeless.

The Holy Family is always looking for shelter, a place to rest, a place to be to host the Christ child.

Claremont UMC has put the finishing touches on a provocative unconventional display on the church’s front lawn. Instead of the traditional wooden stable, hay bales, and illuminated plastic figures of Mary, Joseph and infant Jesus, a group of artists designed and built a life-size homeless encampment adjacent to Foothill Boulevard in Claremont. Visible from the street, the display features two figures huddled around a small cardboard shelter protecting an infant’s child seat. A neon sign illuminates the shelter containing the word “Love” in script. A neon star hovers over the scene, atop an eight-foot block wall on which the words “Peace on Earth” have been spray-painted. “People get so busy with ‘holiday events’ that it’s easy to forget for whom Jesus came,” commented Rev. Dr. Sharon Rhodes-Wickett, pastor. “We don’t want to keep Jesus as a sweet first century story, but rather as a 21st reality, who shakes us up and provokes us to act in behalf of justice and peace for all.” The display is illuminated at night and will continue through Christmas.

Merry Christmas everyone.
The Rev.