There are only 72 hours before Christmas Day (and less than that for those of us who begin to celebrate liturgically on Christmas Eve). In the place of what would have been just “another Christmas sermon,” I thought I would take a few moments and offer thanks for the gifts I have seen given this year.
We celebrate how God has GIVEN to us the greatest of gifts – whose birth we shall soon celebrate. I sit here on a very quiet and cold Monday night and think about the many people and things for which this parish community should be grateful.
There have been those who give of their time to help organize and plan those events (and all those who give up their time to work with them) which are necessary for our survival but in the future, I pray, we’ll be able to direct our efforts toward mission to God’s poor. There are those who labor in the quiet, do the gritty administrative tasks that are without glamour or glory but need to be done. There are those who share their voice and music talents to lead us in worship – to make us praise aloud and feel alive.
There are those who clean and prepare and fixate on the small details that remain seemingly “extra” but without which a parish community falters. There are those who generously give of their substance so that we can share fellowship in a small way after liturgies – and they clean as well. There are those who bring us out of ourselves, opening us to the community at large, and challenge us to Christ’s mission beyond ourselves. There are those who volunteer to share the burdens of governance. Never forget those who guide our liturgies from behind and who proclaim God’s word from in front. Nor those who bring the Lord’s healing sacramental presence to those who are sick as well as ministering to us each and every Eucharistic liturgy.
And there are you all – faithful and few – we are not a mega church and I believe God has not called us to be that. But we are called to be a light in the darkness and to bring the light of Christ into our culture and systems and world. And so, to you all: Merry Christmas. Feel loved and redeemed, as we have been – and then prepared to work again “to His upmost!”