The Christmas season is a wonderful time of the year!  This is a time to gather with loved ones, exchange gifts, sing songs, watch old movies, and tell stories.  Everything we do helps us get in the Christmas Spirit and allows the Christ Child to enter into our hearts and lives once again.

As we embrace the beauty of this season though, we realize this time of year is emotionally-charged.  It’s possible we feel many things deeply.  Sometimes we feel all these emotions at once.  There are moments we feel God’s presence and want to celebrate with others.  There are also moments we don’t express the good cheer that others do.  With the challenges and conflicts in our world, and our personal lives, it’s understandable we might feel a bit down.

During this month of December, the sermon series in worship aims to help us embrace and balance the varied emotions we feel.  The series is titled, “How Does a Weary World Rejoice?” (and the outline was crafted by clergy and artists from “A Sanctified Art.”)  The name takes its title from a verse in the 19th Century Christmas hymn, O Holy Night, where we find the words, “Long lay the world in sin and error pining ‘til He (Jesus) appeared and the soul felts its worth.  A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices, for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.”

What’s interesting about this hymn is the varied people who came together to craft the piece.  It’s been said a French atheist wrote the lyrics and a Jewish composer supplied the music.  An American Unitarian clergyperson translated the lyrics into English.  Perhaps the hope was the gospel of Jesus would bring peace and liberation for all.  In this weary world we find ways to rejoice.  Thus, “a weary world rejoices.”

I hope you join us for worship services this month, in-person or online.  It remains a blessing to be on this journey with each of you!

Grace and peace at Advent and Christmas, Scott