This weekend marks the beginning of the final Christmas countdown both here at the church and for all of us who still have some Christmas shopping to do. I hope that you will take advantage of all the wonderful programs that are coming up in the next 7-10 days. From Christmas Choir Concerts to beautifully sung "Silent Nights" by candlelight, there are going to be some wonderful opportunities to embrace the Spirit of Christmas.
More than just an invitation to a nostalgic or cheerful holiday moment, I want to make sure that you know that these events (and really all our programs throughout the year) are really opportunities to connect with our family of choice and our family of faith.
This season has been one in which several people I know and love from our church and in my personal life have faced serious health diagnoses. These scary words from the mouths of men and women adorned in white coats instantly changed the nature of this holiday season. For each of these folks I am thinking of, every moment deeply matters. I can see this in the way they are moving through this season...taking nothing for granted.
Really, we should all do the same. Why do we ever hesitate to say, "I love you?" Why do we sometimes let words of thanks and gratitude get caught in the backs of our throats? For some reason, it can be very hard, even at the holidays, to express how we truly feel. Maybe it is because we equate feelings with weakness or maybe we sometimes struggle to know how we are really feeling. Whatever it is, I encourage you to show up for these precious holiday moments by giving the people you love the gift of being fully present. Make this a part of your work gatherings, family gatherings, and family of choice gatherings. Make this a part of your gatherings with the family at MCC for music, Santa, and Christmas services of various types so that we can share in your fully-present Christmas.
I pray blessings on all your holiday gatherings over the next 10 days. May they be blessed by Christ and be a blessing in your life and in the lives of all those you love.