Christmas traditions have taken a hit at my home. Long cherished plans have been set aside, as we all try to simply get through the year in good health. Fewer cookies have been made with less calories for me to consume. I anticipate more ZOOM contact than personal contact on Christmas. I’ve sent a copy of our family Christmas Eve Oyster Stew recipe to all seven of my children, so they can make their own this year. The origin of the recipe is from my mother, passed on through her church cookbook and perfected by my daughters. Before I retired, my daughters got involved in the process, rather than wait for mom to get home from the last Christmas Eve service.
As in all things this year, Christmas worship services have taken on some unique designs. Christmas Eve will not be the quiet sanctuary version, or even the noisy children’s version. Instead, we will be celebrating Christmas in our parking lot, in our cars with a pageant of socially distanced characters. Tonight’s originally planned Evensong service, transitioned into a very different Caroling Service. We sang in our cars, tuned to our radios, while the worship leaders led in favorite carols. Fortunately, we were blessed with a mild, 39 degree Fahrenheit evening. Something of a wonder, this time of year in Minnesota.
My eyes kept turning to a tree during the worship time. Boston Scientific has an office directly across the County Road from my church. This tree beautifully lights up the night. In many ways it symbolizes for me, that light still shines in the darkness, and God continues to bless us with beauty and goodness.
“You, the Lord God,
keep my lamp burning
and turn darkness to light.” Psalm 18:28