I am sorry I have been so long away from the writing desk. The Christmas Holidays have turned into a Christmas Woosh.
It has been such an enjoyable. powerful, difficult week of ministry. The experiences have left me little time for putting fingers to keyboard. I just checked my dashboard and I have logged a little more than a thousand miles of driving since last Sunday!
On Sunday I led worship as Pastor Risto gave his last sermon before leaving for Canada for his Christmas holiday. You can find that sermon here
After service and Cornerstone’s cookie fellowship my sister and I drove through a light snow to pick up my daughter Melanie and her fiance James at their pastor’s home in Cambridge.
We dropped the kids off at Melanie’s mother’s home for their family Christmas which was scheduled for the 23rd. That gave me the time I needed to finish up my shopping and wrapping ( yep I had last-minute stuff to buy).
On the 23rd Brenda and I drove to Lynnfield MA to visit with Brenda’s boss who is in the U.S. for her year of itinieration.
Judy gave us a tour of her home, Beth Shan, and took us to lunch at Kouzinas Kitchen in Saugus.
On the 24th I was privileged to preach the Christmas Eve service and then we all (that is Me, Mom, Brenda, Amanda, Melanie and James) nestled in for a long winter’s nap after nachos , Christmas Stolenn and eggnog of course.
Christmas was as Christmas always is a day of celebrating and eating. I made pumpkin pancakes and cinnamon rolls for breakfast, lasagna for lunch and leftovers followed up with pumpkin pie and berry pie for supper.
Yesterday I drove James and Melanie to James’ home in Oakdale CT so they could be with his family for a few days.
Today I have just come from officiating the funeral of a distant cousin. This last event sort of puts all the running of the season in perspective. The holiday is wonderful in and of itself but all the traditional celebration means nothing if we lose the reason for the season. When all the veneer of frivolity is stripped away and we are left facing life as it really is, full not just of life but of death, what truth do we have to speak into that dark night of the soul?
The people who walk in darkness
will see a great light.
For those who live in a land of deep darkness,
a light will shine.
3 You will enlarge the nation of Israel,
and its people will rejoice.
They will rejoice before you
as people rejoice at the harvest
and like warriors dividing the plunder.
4 For you will break the yoke of their slavery
and lift the heavy burden from their shoulders.
You will break the oppressor’s rod,
just as you did when you destroyed the army of Midian.
5 The boots of the warrior
and the uniforms bloodstained by war
will all be burned.
They will be fuel for the fire.
6 For a child is born to us,
a son is given to us.
The government will rest on his shoulders.
And he will be called:
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 His government and its peace
will never end.
He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David
for all eternity.
The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies
will make this happen! Isaiah 9:1-7