The Longest Night of the Year
The big night of the year is coming--our Christmas Eve service! It is our tradition to remember Christ’s birth, celebrate Holy Communion, and sing carols by candlelight. Bring the whole family! The sounds of babies and toddlers are welcome! (I have purchased some battery candles for younger kids who might not be ready to hold an open flame.) Our theme for Advent and Christmas is Welcoming Christ, Welcoming All; the book I have selected tells of the legend of the flor de la Nochebuena, (the Holy Night), from Mexico. (The pic at the end is a clue, for those of us who do not speak Spanish.) Please join us from 5-6pm.
Last night, our Blue Christmas was beautiful. Janet lit an Advent candle for Yates, Lu for Danny, Geneva for Vern, and a guest, Marilyn Barnes, for her husband Dan. Each widow spoke of her beloved. The sanctuary was dimly lit. The candles and love were our light. We all created gift boxes to remember the "gifts" of grief loss, and the gifts those we love share with us, for eternity.
Yesterday, a man who discovered Westminster through sermons posted on Facebook contacted me about the passing of his mother, Frances Williamson. Pray for them. She was a deacon in the Presbyterian church. He is an elder. The church brings us together. Even in unexpected ways—like online during a pandemic!
Let us continue to pray for the families torn apart by the tornadoes, for the driver who lost his life so close to Westminster last Saturday, for the hungry, the cold, the homeless, and for ways we can shining light--hope, peace, joy and love. We give thanks that Janie Galbraith delivered 26 hats, 78 pairs of mittens, and gloves to Delaware from our Mitten Tree. Still hanging on the tree, are ornaments--one Joanne Coonrod created by cross-stitching, and the other given by Geneva Philo; both are campers reminding us of the generosity of Westminster. Today I also give thanks that the 12 remaining missionaries from the U.S. and Canada who had been kidnapped in Haiti two months ago have been released.
Last night our service ended with one of my favorite hymns, especially meaningful as we approach the longest night of the year.
Now the day is over, night is drawing nigh;
shadows of the evening steal across the sky.
Jesus, give the weary calm and sweet repose;
with your tenderest blessing may my eyelids close.
Comfort every sufferer watching late in pain;
those who plan some evil, from their sin restrain.
Through the long night-watches may your angels spread
their bright wings above me, watching round my bed.
When the morning wakens, then may I arise pure and fresh and sinless
in your holy eyes.
Even when the darkest night is near, the morning light is coming.
Merry, merry Christmas morning to you all!
With much love.