So, what is Christmas?

It’s amazing what a little intention will do.

The choir at Alton Presbyterian is usually more of a double quartet. Last night we needed to rearrange the loft big time. We were bursting at the seams. A young mother from those attending saw we were singing familiar music and joined us from the congregation.

An author read one of his stories at the service that described God’s creation breaking into a family bereaved and busy.

The usual Christmas crowd sang Christmas hymns and tried not to tip wax into the pews.

Bags of peanuts, chocolates pinned with candy canes went home with the worshippers.

There is no snow, but fall’s leaves dot the back yard early this gray a.m.. The remaining apples from the tree to the back litter the base of the tree.

The wood stove flares. The coffee-maker beeps.

The shower can wait.

God’s with us, say the holy books.

It’s quiet at the moment. Still. And it’s easy to believe.

As the weather turns, the winds pick up, the house stirs, the four-hour Christmas trip looms, the radio kicks in, the mind starts churning and the realization kicks in again that the world is a churning, violent place, I’m reminded that it’s divine and human intention that’s needed.

God’s with us. Prove it.

Again, and again, and again

I’ve made the comment that the genie is out of the bottle [and it smells like gunpowder], responding to the comments on the recent shootings. I’ve since seen a couple of good commentaries. I’ll post the links. But, if you’re offended by rough language or don’t want to read a long piece, don’t bother. The issue of violence in public and private is a complex one, but it must be addressed. The body count continues to climb.

Here’s the first link.

Here’s the second link.

Here’s more about the author of the two essays.