December 23

I was talking with a friend last week who said that the kids’ Christmas program is one of the things she most looks forward to every Christmas season. I absolutely agree. Maybe I feel this every year, but this morning’s felt especially sweet. By the time the service started, I had already teared up a few times watching the practice (thankful tears for adults and older kids who pour their hearts out to teach and serve mine, sympathetic tears of pride with another mom whose daughter sang a beautiful solo, joyful tears because listening to kids sing “let every heart prepare him room” gets me every single time). And then looking around seeing so many dear faces–one for the first time in church, grandparents and family that I realize I recognize only/mostly from many years of community with the same friends, a few that I only saw from afar but that warmed my heart to see in passing, and then also some faces missing this year that made my heart ache. This year has had at least its fair share of suffering and darkness, but what a gift to remember why we really celebrate this season. As Simon put it when I asked him to summarize the sermon, “Jesus came to us. He came to save us.”