Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Hello everyone. I appear to have survived Christmas, although I am taking off an extra day to make sure. As usual, it was a time of surprises and contradictions, as well as fun. Here are some.

Our church, fortunately, had a service on Sunday, Christmas Day, even though we had a Christmas Eve service. The pastor seemed genuinely glad to be there and even spiritually moved during the service. That made me happy. Also, Josh came Sunday morning, which I suppose was at least in part because I gave him a hard time about his church taking the day off. He looked really nice in his suit and tennis shoes.

We celebrated the Lord's Supper, which was really nice, and the pastor talked a lot more about Christ's death than birth, so it was kind of like Palm Sunday and Christmas rolled into one. It is sort of like the way we do Independence Day. We don't celebrate our independence at all, but we do celebrate our military, so it is Memorial Day and Independence Day rolled into one. Also, we had a video portraying Christ at the Last Supper, and you know how I feel about showing images of Christ.

The most interesting thing about church during this time was that the Pastor clearly wanted to make Christmas a sacred time, rather than a secular time. Yet, the Christmas program had secular songs. Actually, the Baby told me her Sunday School class sang Jingle Bells. That makes me cringe. Also, the sanctuary was decorated with Christmas trees and wreaths and other things that are definitely part of the secular side of Christmas. It makes me wonder if Protestants have lost the ability to discern the difference, or the knowledge of what is really going on.

The family thing was weird this year. My mother and her husband went to Denver to see his daughter. My brother and his family went to Georgia to be with his wife's family. My mother-in-law stayed home with a cousin. So, our family circle shrunk to our immediate family and the son-in-law. We invited some extra friends to fill out the table. It was nice, but it was weird.

I think that might be part of my problem with Christmas. It is weird. People string up lights all over everything, shop until they are broke and tired, eat too much, worry over the arrangements and who can be where and when, and then say we are doing it all to observe the birth of Christ. He was born in pretty humble circumstances, although he did have one big light. He also had a pretty dramatice announcement to the shepherds, although I cannot find anything that said they sang. And, tah dah, most interestingly, he never told us to celebrate his birth, only his death. At least we did that on Sunday.

I'm still glad I took an extra day off.
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