Day 277 | Monday, 21 December 2020
From the Church Mouse
Two Sundays ago, Rev. Susan Hadley, “Pastor Sue”, of Christ First United Methodist Church, included something in our worship service that was shared with her from the first church she served, East Otto UMC in Cattaraugus County. It was written anonymously.
When Doug and I were serving churches, we always wanted to keep our holiday season as free from stress and as focused on Christ, the real reason for the season, as possible. Every Halloween, we would head off to Erie’s Millcreek Mall or Hamburg’s McKinley Mall to do ALL our Christmas shopping. I also made sure that all our Christmas cards were prepared and ready to mail by December 1st.
When Pastor Sue shared the following with us, I knew right away that I wanted to share it with you. The Christ First folks will remember it, but since the Woodland Shepherd and the Church Mouse have a wider following now, I decided to include it for today’s offering. I know that you’ll enjoy it.
If I decorate perfectly with plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights and shining balls, but do not show love to my family, I’m just another decorator.
If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime, but do not show love to my family, I’m just another cook.
If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home and give all that I have to charity, but do not show love, it profits me nothing.
If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crystal snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties and sing in the choir’s cantata, but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.
Love stops the cooking to hug the child. Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the spouse. Love is kind, through harried and tired.
Love doesn’t envy another’s home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens. Love doesn’t yell at the kids to get out of the way but is grateful that they’re there to be in the way.
Love doesn’t give only to those who are able to give in return but rejoices in giving to those who can’t. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails. Video games will break, necklaces and earrings will be lost, golf clubs will rust, china will break…..but giving the gift of love will endure forever in the hearts of others.
Have a peaceful and blessed Holiday season.