Happy Monday, folks!
Yes, you did read that right.
There are only 4 days until Christmas Eve 2021.
As we approach one of the biggest holidays of the church year for a Music Director, I can’t help but feel like we are back at square one hearing the news about Omicron variant cases on the rise as we continue to struggle through this pandemic as a society.
It just doesn’t feel like the holidays are upon us.
And it makes even harder to find joy in the special moments of the holiday season when you are presented with negative, dark news constantly.
Not going to lie…it took me awhile to met motivated this year about the holiday season.
It also took me forever to get motivated to wrap this year’s presents.
But I’m proud to say that I finally accomplished that on Friday evening.
And let me just say that my wrapping skills are less than desirable, so I apologize in advance for anyone who has to experience them.
But wrapping aside…let’s get today to business.
All throughout these December days, I continue to have the question of “where are you Christmas” sitting in the back of my mind whispering in my ears on the daily.
Exhaustion, defeat, and the sadness of seeing the world in a state of turmoil amidst a pandemic of uncertainty and frustration certainly can throw a wrench into finding joy in the holiday season.
People feeling entitled, showing greed, and acting upon hate instead of love make me want to scream.
Most people in my life know that the traditional Christmas Eve service is always MY FAVORITE one to plan each year at church. It is something that gets me so excited that I start to plan prior to Summer.
Seriously. No joke.
And after learning that we were going to hold in-person worship (with masks) after a virtual only service in 2020, I felt the excitement once again to try and plan a service with music to help stir the souls of ALL with a sense of hope and joy…entities that might be missing from the lives of many as the navigation through the uncharted waters around us continue to challenge us.
And through a year that has undoubtedly thrown thousands of challenges at us complete with roller coaster emotions, it was hard for me to zone in on the theme I wanted to focus on with this year’s service.
And those who know me, understand that I will listen and sample multiples pieces of music and if I’m not intrigued or sucked in within the first 15 seconds of the song, you will hear me say NEXT!
I need to experience what we like to call the “light bulb aha” moment when I’m planning.
And this year, that moment happened much later than normal, but the song that got me to experience it is one that had me feeling all the emotions. And it one that I’m excited for ALL to hear as a reflection after Pastor Angie’s message.
The theme of this year’s service is entitled “Rejoice! O Come, All Ye Unfaithful.”
And no…it is not a misprint…I promise you!
ALL of us are unfaithful in some way, shape, or form.
ALL of us are sinners.
ALL of us have our own struggles that we deal with on the daily.
But, in this Christmas season, we are ALL made anew through the entities of love, hope, and kindness that the birth of a baby named Jesus allows us ALL to experience.
In just 4 days, the faith community at St. Paul Penryn will share the spirit of Christmas as we come together to rejoice in reflection of faith, love, and joy.
The service starts at 6:30pm with a musical prelude and will include Holy Communion and candlelight. Limited seating will be available indoors (with a mask required) along with a projection live stream of the service outside around firepits. The service will also be available via Zoom, so if you would like the link, message me your email address so I can forward it on!
Everyone must bring their own chairs and blankets. Overflow seating will be outside, which means arrive early if you want to be inside the sanctuary!
I hope that if you are feeling lost this Christmas or just want some type of connection with a faith community that welcomes ALL to find Christmas in your own way, that you will join us as we celebrate the birth of the baby Jesus.
I hope our service, music, and message will be a light to inspire ALL who might be feeling lost, fearful, or uncertain about the past, present, or future.
I’ll say it now. The simple action of playing some holiday music on the piano and traditional Christmas hymns in front of humans is going to be quite the emotional experience for me even if I won’t get to see people’s faces…smile with your eyes.
Hearing the lyrics to Silent Night and experiencing the candles lit as the lights are dimmed will mean so much more to me this year as we all strive to look inside our souls to find the light and keep the fire burning.
Where are you Christmas?
Have you been asking yourself that question this season?
Well, if you have (and even if you haven’t), I hope you will find the answer with the faith community at St. Paul Penryn this Friday at 6:30pm.
So come, all ye unfaithful and hear the message of love, hope, and faith that is meant for ALL to know and experience.
Sprinkle sunshine always,