Today the worship coordinator (who was featured in last week's story about the advent candles) told me she had another one for me today: "This one is more funny", she said. She began by noting how many people name the Advent candles for the different Sundays in Advent. I was familiar with this tradition, after which she said that she heard that the 4th Sunday in Advent is sometimes called, "Panic Sunday."
But then she said that her mother always told her, "Christmas comes, whether you are ready or not."
"That's supposed to be good news," I said, smiling.
"It's all we need," she answered.
It's really important for pastors to hear the gospel from the parish members, I think.
Today I preached at three services, a message about Mary and what she believed, in whom she believed, and the difference it makes. I think it was a decent message, if I do say so myself; but I think the worship coordinator preached a pretty good sermon to me, too.
Today I got to hold a baby, not quite two weeks old; I spoke to a young couple, just moved to Richfield. She had heard of the book I mentioned in my sermon (Half the Sky); the authors had been featured on Oprah. Today I watched adults and children get the sanctuary ready for Christmas, with paper chains and blinking lights and all kinds of greens. Today I wondered about the importance not just of worship, but of community; I wondered what it would take for us to realize how important we are to one another. I have heard that we are hungry for real community, and that is one thing that the church can do. But, to be truthful, I'm not sure that I see evidence of that hunger very often.
Today after church we went out to dinner with my mother-in-law, my oldest stepson and his girlfriend. This might be the only Christmas we have with them, until sometime in January, when we hope we can all be in town and together. I'm still knitting. Maybe I'll be done by that "sometime in January" date.
Today I am bone-weary, done with some things, but still "in the middle" of others.
Christmas comes, whether you are ready or not.
It's all I really need.