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Showing posts from December, 2009

Call to Worship for Christmas Eve

Time to turn off the cell phones.Time to put the pagers on stun.It’s even time to put a piece of duct tape on the face of your watch.It’s Christmas Eve and time is standing still for a moment.
It is the time, maybe the only time of the year, when here and now drift away and we fall under the spell of story-time.
Tonight we are both here, AND on a lonely hillside outside of Bethlehem.
Tonight, we are with each other, friends and family, returning students and relatives from far away, AND we are also with the Magi, on a journey and such a hard time for journey.
Tonight we listen to our choir, AND we listen to choirs of angels, a whole heavenly host of angels we have heard on high.
Tonight, like every night, is new, a never happening before moment in onrushing time, AND yet, we have been here before, done this before, told this story before, and heard it before.
There is way that the story we tell tonight is always happening: birth and death and taxes, weary travelers with no place to stay, b…

Keeping the X in Xmas

Are we to be Wise Ones, with our eyes fixed on the star in the inky night sky, always looking up, each riding on our own camel, swaying under the starry sky?

Or are we to be shepherds, a band of what were surely brothers, who come and go out of the Nativity story as a group? 

The story reminds us of the two dimensions of religion – the vertical dimension that links each one of us with what is above us – what some call our Higher Power, God.  And the other dimension is the horizontal – the relationships between people, the community. 

The horizontal and the vertical.

Christmas is both vertical and horizontal.  On the one hand, we are to look up and see Jesus coming down from heaven and entering into the life of the Earth.  We are to look up and see the angels gathering to sing, and we are to look up and see the star as it leads to the stable the Christ child lays.

On the other hand, Christmas is horizontal – the gathering of friends and family – over the river and through the woods we go…