e-letter 12/21/18

It’s time. Time to don my apron that hangs ignored in the pantry all year until Christmas and start baking. Nothing fancy mind you, but my family’s favorites: homemade chocolate chip cookies; cut out, iced and sprinkled sugar cookies; ribbon cookies; chocolate bread pudding; (my personal favorite) chocolate bourbon pecan pie; pumpkin pie; and apple pie. If the list seems a little excessive, I agree. But I have a big family, 17 of whom will be at my house on Christmas Day. And everyone has a favorite and it’s Christmas!


I’ve wondered the last couple years if I should cut back on the baking and be more practical. But I hate being practical at Christmas. It just doesn’t fit the season. I mean seriously, what is practical about the Christmas story? What is practical about God, the creator of heaven and earth, choosing to leave the glory of heaven for life on our crazy, messed up planet. What is practical or logical about God, choosing to put on our fragile and frail flesh and entering the rough and tumble reality of life on earth? What is practical about God choosing to save the world through a poor, unwed teenager who gives birth to a tiny, vulnerable, helpless baby? Seems to me there is nothing practical or logical about it!


Author Madeleine L’Engle calls this season “the irrational” season. So perhaps it makes sense that so much of what we do to celebrate his coming makes no rational sense. Perhaps as I bake and decorate and spend way too much time making fancy bows for each gift, it serves as a reminder that some things in life, perhaps the best things, like the coming of Christ into the world and the miracle that is his coming, are rarely practical or logical.


This week in worship we will continue in our message series “It’s a Wonderful Life” by focusing on Mary and her openness to the impractical and seemingly impossible wonder of becoming the mother of the Son of God. You can read some of Mary’s story in Luke 1:26-38. As we encounter Mary, we discover that there was nothing practical or logical about her willingness to give herself completely to God’s plan and purposes for her life. But Mary chose to believe in the power of God that would overshadow her and bring about a miracle of life and light through her.


As we draw closer to the wonder and miracle that is Christmas, I pray you will be touched once again by the power of this impractical, illogical, seemingly impossible truth: that God loves us so much that God chose to become one of us, to live among us and in us and to bring life, light and hope into our darkness. And I pray that like Mary, you will give yourself over to believing in the miracle of what that child Jesus can mean for your life and the life of this world.


See you in worship Sunday and on Christmas Eve. And why not invite someone to come to worship with you in the coming days? That invitation may be the best gift you give to someone this year.  

Grace and Peace,