Florence Congregational Church
Thursday, January 18, 2018
A Place to Connect

December News 2015

 

“Oh, how time flies when you’re having fun.”

December seems to arrive sooner every year. I think it is driven by the early September ads for Christmas, the thirty-day Christmas show countdown, and endless marketing campaigns. One month to go and the year of 2015 becomes history. It has come so quickly and in a few short days it will be gone. These are crazy times. Just today news reporters were joking about black Friday sales pitches and the most recent addition of not, Cyber Monday specials, but rather Walmart’s Cyber Sunday sale. What has happened to the precious moments of peace and quiet? Where is the Christ of Christ(mas)? What happened to the season we celebrate the most fragile patterns of birth and growth, the tenderest messages of maternal life-giving spirit, the most supremely magnificent visions of divine favor, and the greatest love ever? These are smothered by the frantic dazzling spectacle of big-time selling and buying sprees that are so vital these days to our national economy. Just listen to the news; holiday sales’ figures are reported daily. Will retailers make it? Will the economy rebound in the last few days of the holiday season?”

It is this craziness that moves me to walk to the church to sit quietly in the sanctuary. I like the silence and chance to contemplate the busyness of life, its complexities, the anxieties of the many people I know, and where God fits in. It is peaceful and refreshing to just think and reflect on life’s blessings. I need time to step out of it, to worship, to hear and sing the songs about Jesus’ birth and the prayers of God’s people that are filled with compassion for humankind. It’s especially amazing to sit in the sanctuary after worship on Christmas Eve with only the light of candles flickering, to look up at the cross, to be in God’s meeting house built for the very purpose of gathering God’s people into His presence. These encounters with God strengthen me for life.

As you step into this month of craziness, chaos and frenzy, remember to take a deep breath every morning. Be intentional in asking these simple questions. “Lord, what will you have me to do today? How might I bless you and others as I make my way through my day? Take a moment to sit and be quiet.

I pray for guidance while walking:

may each of my steps move me towards the goals You have set..

I pray that kindness may flow through my words:

may each thought that I utter bless the ear that receives it.

I pray for friendship that is true and joyous:

may each action and each word in our life together

nourish and build up each of us.

And I pray that the silence of the coming of the Holy One

may be a gift we each receive in love.

As many of us ask, “Is there enough silence

for the Word to be heard?”

More than ever this year,

I am reaching for that silence.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Peace           Pi

 

Florence Congregational Church • 130 Pine Street, Florence, Massachusetts 01062 • 413.584.1325