A Happy Christmas to All

25 Dec

It is a very different Christmas for me this year.  I am relaxing with my parents watching old movies.  I have watched my required movies of “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “A Christmas Carol”.  Yet, the most different part is the place where I celebrated Christmas Eve last night.  I remember how I enjoyed the beauty of services at Vestal – from the decorations, to the music, to the wonderful faces of friends.  I also remember the exhausting the schedule of three services. Last night I celebrated Christmas Eve at my new church.  It was snowing all afternoon and when I left home an hour and a half early for a 7:00 p.m. service.  As I made the first turn from my parent’s road to a secondary road, I slowly slid into a ditch.  I was trying to “rock” my car out of the ditch when a very nice couple in a pick up truck pushed me out.  I made it to church and then found out that my 84 year old organist couldn’t make it to the church.  The pianist did make it to church, but not the lay reader and her family.  The lay reader and her family were going to form a choir for the night.  So, the pianist and I did all the music.  I sang “Star-child” by myself with her (and her grand-daughter) join in on the chorus and then the pianist and I sang “O Holy Night” for the Offertory.

It reminds me of years ago when my sons were in a Montessori school.  They needed someone to fill in for the Spanish teacher (this was only a 1/2 hour class).  Now I flunked out of 3 years of High School Spanish, but I was willing to fill in for the class.  When I told my Dad the story and told him I was just trying to help.  His response was, “Well, I just hope a Brain Surgeon doesn’t call you for help!”   He figured I was as qualified to do his job as each Spanish.

I think this also applies to my singing.  But, we made it through the song and we hit most of the notes.  And we worshiped – we heard the story from Luke, sang Christmas Carols, and share Communion together.  There were less than 40 of us, yet it a lovely commemeration of Christ’s birth.  The photo is how the world looked when I drove home from the worship services.  It was also beautiful.

The Psalm of the day is 48.  It is a praise song for the dwelling place of God.  Today we celebrate God coming to earth as a baby and that the most important dwelling place for God is in our hearts.  This dwelling place for God’s presence can transform our lives and celebrate the joy of God each day.

48 1-3 God majestic,
praise abounds in our God-city!
His sacred mountain,
breathtaking in its heights—earth’s joy.
Zion Mountain looms in the North,
city of the world-King.
God in his citadel peaks
impregnable.

4-6 The kings got together,
they united and came.
They took one look and shook their heads,
they scattered and ran away.
They doubled up in pain
like a woman having a baby.

7-8 You smashed the ships of Tarshish
with a storm out of the East.
We heard about it, then we saw it
with our eyes—
In God’s city of Angel Armies,
in the city our God
Set on firm foundations,
firm forever.

9-10 We pondered your love-in-action, God,
waiting in your temple:
Your name, God, evokes a train
of Hallelujahs wherever
It is spoken, near and far;
your arms are heaped with goodness-in-action.

11 Be glad, Zion Mountain;
Dance, Judah’s daughters!
He does what he said he’d do!

12-14 Circle Zion, take her measure,
count her fortress peaks,
Gaze long at her sloping bulwark,
climb her citadel heights—
Then you can tell the next generation
detail by detail the story of God,
Our God forever,
who guides us till the end of time.

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