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It’s finally here!! The preparations have been made, songs have been practiced, poinsettias and decorations have been placed, and candles are ready to be lit. Christmas Eve is here. Last night we began our Christmas Eve Celebration with many of you at our St. Luke’s Preeve Services. We had glorious worship and offered a gift to the thousands who will be able to find a seat tonight. Thank you for offering this gift to our community, and for coming back tonight to serve our guests with hearts of love.
Our prayer this season is that each of you found your way “home” this Christmas to the heart of the manger. We pray you have found ways to bring home hope, peace, love and joy as we have walked together through the Advent journey. As you know from spending the last eight Christmas’ together, my favorite book of the season is A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. One of my favorite quotes from the book comes as Scrooge has come to his moment of redemption and transformation after the final visit with the Ghost of Christmas Future. He says:
“I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach!”
Our final wish for you and for all of us who claim ourselves to be St. Lukers is that we would move into this new year honoring Christmas within our hearts all year. For each of us to find ways to bring Christ home to our hearts in new and profound ways not just this Christmas season, but each and every day that follows.
May each of us find ways to allow Christ to “grow up” within the home of our hearts in ways which call us to grow more richly and deeply in our faith….
- As if holding a sleeping Christ child close– may our faith find joy and bliss in moments of mystery and rest.
- Like a growing toddler constantly busy exploring and reaching – may our faith expand through moments of curiosity, wonder and adventure.
- Like a questioning teenager never satisfied with one answer – may we begin to ask deep questions of our faith and struggle deep with the tension of the radical gospel of Jesus and the world we live in.
- With the idealism of a young adult never satisfied with status quo – may our faith and hearts become hungry with a passion for justice and a holy discontent that leads us to change our community and world.
- Just as a person who comes to middle age and struggles with identity and roles – yes, may our faith have such a struggle and may we wrestle with finding new meaning and purpose within our life.
- And with the wisdom of maturity – as Christ grows in us may we find ways to look deeply at what is truly important in life and what we are willing to let fall away.
And as Christ grows in the home of our hearts each and every day of the year may the same be said of us, as it was said of Ebenezer Scrooge, that we have kept Christmas well.
From our homes to yours, Merry Christmas and God bless us everyone.
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