Christmas in Church
A friend posted a video on Facebook where the text began “Feeling stressed out this week? Just remember it’s not about ‘Christmas’. It’s about Christ.” Sorry, Lynne Worrell Hamilton, I didn’t watch the video, but I’ve gotta confess that this can be even harder when you work in a church!
We just had an ordination last week, are celebrating a bishop’s anniversary of his ordination today and are preparing for a Christmas Pageant on Sunday, 5 services on Christmas Eve, 1 on Christmas Day and a service of Christmas Lessons & Carols at Princeton University Chapel next Sunday. (That’s over 3000 service sheets which are mostly at 16 pages each, hours of choir rehearsals, sermons to be written and preached, flowers and greens to dress the church, cleaning and altar preparations, receptions and brunches to be prepared and service participants to be rehearsed, etc., etc., etc.).
Parish volunteers just delivered poinsettias to over 50 parishioners (which meant a great deal of volunteer coordination, getting all the addresses and finding out all the changes that need to be made to the database so we can keep in touch with some of our most vulnerable parishioners). We collected Angel Tree gifts for over 250 children and adults from 5 or 6 different ministry agencies.
Our staff and volunteers are overworked and overstressed and struggling with our own personal crises while we try to support each other through this busiest time of our year. It can feel like Christmas is anything but sane, simple or still.
Whether your Christmas services next week are more or less than you might have hoped, consider what you can do to help make Christmas a little more sane, a little more simple, a little more still for those who have worked so hard to try to provide that beautiful, still place where you can celebrate “the reason for the season.”
Since not all of my friends are Christian, let me say I am wishing you all a blessed Christmas or a peaceful and joy-filled time to reflect on those values we all share regardless of our theological expression.