Rob did a wonderful job last night, of helping us to think about the reality of Christmas–NOT being a Hallmark card. Fittingly, our first themed post for the Twelve Days of Christmas (which we’re sneakily calling “The Feast of the Twelve Days” to make it sound more religious), will be on that particular note of “reality”.
Rob meant it for the first Christmas, but also for our particular Christmas, as a church and as The Church in this day and age… with all the brokenness happening in the world today, and with all o the grief and sickness that we’ve had in recent weeks in our congregation. He worked up to some great wording (again, we wish we could remember them!) about God invading our world. We had wondered why we sang Silent Night near the beginning of the service, instead of at the end when all the candles are lit, but it became clear with the sermon of course. Since that would have been just too Hallmark-Christmas-card-ish. Hark the Herald Angels Sing was okay for the candles; and at the end of his sermon Rob suggested that we hold our candles high in protest against the darkness, in protest against death & disease, sinful government, persecution, war, etc. We didn’t have the special music that we usually have at our Christmas Eve service, but even that would have added to the “Hallmark” idea. After all that Rob said, it was a great service after all!
And as for the Twelve Days of Christmas–it was something that was practiced by Christians long before any of the secular stuff that goes on today. We make our own suggestions for “rituals”, though. Most of this stuff is from last year, but we’ll polish it up and add pictures.