Today the PreK – 3rd graders played some Christmas games in Hale Auditorium while we waited to see the Drama and Donuts class production of “The Visit of the Magi”. I know, I know – it’s not Epiphany yet. But their version was so sweet, such a gift from them to the younger children, that I can’t get caught up in those kinds of details. They enjoyed performing it and the younger kids enjoyed watching and then getting to participate the second time through as they are always invited to do.
I get it though. The wise men from my crèche at home are still very, very far away, all the way across the room from Mary and Joseph in the stable, waiting to join them on January 6. The baby Jesus won’t be in the manger until I go to bed on Christmas Eve. I always tell my husband where I have hidden him when we set up the crèche so that hopefully one of us will remember.
The kings had such a long way to go to seek the Lord. I was struck this week by the contrast of their special journey to find the new king with Mary and Elizabeth who were both just going along with their everyday lives when God came to them with the blessing of a new baby. And truth be told, their story resonates with me more than that of the Wise Men. It may be because they are women or because they are from a “lower” station in society than the learned Magi. But I think I relate to them more because of what has been my experience of God. My “a-ha” moments rarely happen when I set out to seek the Lord. They tend to blindside me right where I am at.
I confess that this job does not come as naturally to me as teaching Algebra did. I do a lot of googling! And during this time of year, I come across a lot of Advent calendars in my net surfing. A particular one that was developed by a non-profit design company, saltproject.org, seemed to be in use by quite a few churches of different denominations. The design was sweet, but what drew me were the suggested meditations for lighting the different candles on the Sundays in Advent and the Christ candle on Christmas Eve.
Hope looked down and saw despair. “I will go there,” said Hope.
Peace looked down and saw war. “I will go there,” said Peace.
Joy looked down and saw sorrow. “I will go there,” said Joy.
Love looked down and saw hate. “I will go there,” said Love.
God looked down and saw you. “I will go there,” said God.
I loved Caroline’s message today about blessing every circumstance, both expected and unexpected. Being asked to do this job for our parish was a bit unexpected for me, but today I very much want to bless the circumstance in which I find myself. I praise the Lord for the opportunity to serve the families of this parish. I am very happy because you trust your children with us each week. God has shown care for me by meeting me and blessing me right where I am at!
I wish you and your children a wonderful Christmas holiday full of hope, peace, joy, love and the presence of God. I hope to see you in a couple of weeks when we celebrate Epiphany!