Infusing Sacred Traditions with New Ideas

30 Dec Infusing Sacred Traditions with New Ideas

Once every few years Christmas Day falls on a Sunday.   At Calvary that means that last weekend we were in church Saturday night for the traditional Christmas Eve service and again the following day for the Christmas Day service. In the interest of families having time to open gifts and eat together, as well as for the sake of my sanity and the sanity of our musicians, we did move our Sunday service to 1:00 p.m. rather than our normal 10:00 a.m. (If you’re interested, Christmas falling on a Sunday occurs in intervals of 11, 6, 5 and 6 years. Look it up!

Our Christmas Eve service is very traditional and always ends in candle light as we sing “Silent Night.” For Christmas Day, I wanted to do something a little different and so, borrowing an idea from a colleague, we had our first ever “Poetry and Pajamas” service. The kids came to church in their PJ’s which they loved, and the service was composed of lots of carol singing interspersed with poetry and scripture readings. All the poems had to do with Christmas, of course. Even our prayers and liturgy were comprised of poems that fit that occasion.

The service started with a reading from the Iona Community that I turned into a responsive Call to Worship. Before we leave the Christmas season and 2016 behind us, I hope you will allow these words to penetrate your heart and life.

When the World Was Dark

When the world was dark
and the city was quiet,
you came.

You crept in beside us.

And no one knew.
Only the few
who dared to believe
that God might do something different.

Will you do the same this Christmas, Lord?

Will you come into the darkness of to[day’s] world;
not the friendly darkness
as when sleep rescues us from tiredness,
but the fearful darkness,
in which people have stopped believing
that war will end
or that food will come
or that a government will change
or that the Church cares?

Will you come into that darkness
and do something different
to save your people from death and despair?

Will you come into the quietness of this town,
not the friendly quietness
as when lovers hold hands,
but the fearful silence when
the phone has not rung
the letter has not come,
the friendly voice no longer speaks,
the doctor’s face says it all?

Will you come into that darkness,
and do something different,
not to distract, but to embrace your people?

And will you come into the dark corners
and the quiet places of our lives?

We ask this not because we are guilt-ridden
or want to be,
but because the fullness our lives long for
depends upon us being as open and vulnerable to you
as you were to us,
when you came,
wearing no more than diapers,
and trusting human hands
to hold their maker.

Will you come into our lives,
if we open them to you
and do something different?

When the world was dark
and the city was quiet
you came.

You crept in beside us.

Do the same this Christmas, Lord.
Do the same this Christmas.

Wishing you Christmas Joy,


No Comments

Post A Comment