There is four inches of snow and a strong cold wind today. Nature has an icy grip this Sunday morning and both church services have been canceled. Instead of scurrying from church to church and delivering another message to the faithful I am sitting in my office, wearing the coveralls that are my “day off” attire and writing this article for the Dec/Jan newsletter. I must confess it is nice to take a break from Sunday services and “stay there by the fireside bright” . And perhaps my congregations also appreciate a break from one of my sermons!
This is “Christ the King Sunday” and I had a special message and service planned for today. Because it is meant for this occasion, I cannot use it next week, so I still need to prepare a service/message for the first Sunday of Advent. Though if I remember, I might dig this one out next year and use it then. Alas, like so many things in life, it may become “the road not taken” and forgotten. It would have been one of my better messages, uplifting, inspiring and transformational. Pity no one will hear it. Of course, I can say this precisely because no one will hear it and will never know if I am serious or joking.
So, I am sitting at home composing this article and waiting for the soup to simmer and slowly cook the leftover turkey, ham and vegetables that have been thrown together to create an unnamed concoction that hopefully will provide sustenance for this cold winter day. Indeed, I find myself wondering what I should do with myself since the Staff Parish Relation Committee meeting planned for tonight has been postponed till tomorrow evening. What do you do when your plans have been altered and you suddenly have to improvise new activities for the day? I could heat up the garage and tinker around in my shop. Or I could drag out the Christmas decorations and prepare the parsonage for the holidays. Perhaps I should work on the services for Advent and get caught up with things. Or maybe I will simply watch football while enjoying soup.
There is that inexorable question, “What would Jesus do?” It’s doubtful, living in Judea, that worship service ever got cancel due to snow storm. Yet Jesus often needed to find solitude from his ministry, a respite from the healing, teaching and oratory work which took up the bulk of his earthy existence. He rarely got the chance since the people followed him around the shores of Galilee and into the homes and synagogues that he visited. And his disciples were constantly asking questions, trying to understand the parables and insisting on their positions within the new political order that they assumed Jesus was creating.
Perhaps the answer can be found in Genesis; “By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.” We are about to enter the season of Advent, better known as “Christmas” or the “Holiday Season”. After a busy fall thing will begin to truly get hectic. Decorations need to go up, shopping needs to be done, parties attended, and people visited. Perhaps a time of respite is required before we all take the deep plunge into the celebration of peace and the birth of a King. At some point during this Christmas season all of us should take a day of quiet to reflect on the past year, give thanks for our blessings and find a peaceful place to be with God. Debbie and I wish all of you the blessings of God’s love and the joy of the season, and a good bowl of soup.