We had a most special Christmas service at church Sunday. Randy always purposefully crafts a quiet and somber atmosphere with low lights, asking people to quietly enter the auditorium and communicating that the way Jesus came into this world was not with bombast and fare. Rather it was most likely quiet and simple. And so we would this morning read through the Christmas story with a quiet heart. Students read select passages from scripture and then lit a candle on the advent wreath. We saw after each reading how more light, because of the Light, was brought into the world. I was so proud of all the kids for reading. They did such a good job. I hate that all my pictures didn’t turn out.
We also had the opportunity to receive communion and then give our gifts back to God. There was a wooden manger set up and we could come and receive communion and then give our offerings to God. This was the first time our church has ever participated in an offering of this manner – going forward to give. There were some hesitations about it and concerns but oh my goodness it was such a sweet time. I think in the end everyone loved having this opportunity. I’ve learned from our black churches in town that going forward to give is just a normal thing. And it’s an exciting thing. They have a huge celebration going on with people clapping and music blaring as gifts are brought forth the King. It’s not a time of looking to see who is giving and who is not. That’s just sick. But instead it’s a privilege to bring forth a portion of what God has given to us.
Of course we can’t have a Sunday without a little bit of drama and it came during communion. A certain somebody, who has been on prednisone for 5 days with no taper, refused to partake of the cup. So she is holding her grape juice and not drinking it in the pew. When I ask about it she had no reason as to why she didn’t want to take it. I’m baffled at this. She has always taken communion since she got saved and looks forward to it. In my confusion I’m asking a million questions making it more all about her than she was already making it. So we’re fighting over communion. Lovely. To top it off, at some point she spills the grape juice all over me, my Bible, the pew and her dress. She quickly gulps down the tiny drop that’s left and starts crying. And that’s how our Sunday morning church service ended.
The Christmas open house was so much fun. Many people were sick with the flu this year and so we had about half as many people as we normally do. But it was fun with those who came. Sophie loves helping make the punch. I noticed this year she added some artwork to the outside of the frosted punch bowl with her finger. Oh well, at least it wasn’t in the dust on the end tables.