Christmas is nothing…

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What our church looks like after dark

On Tuesday night, over 100 people attended our annual Christmas Eve Service. We sang carols, heard Scripture, and lit candles. At one point we sat in the darkened silence and let the words from John wash over us: In the beginning was the Word…

And then Caitlin Buerge came forward and offered this beautiful reflection that her father, Lonnie Buerge, recently wrote. With his permission, I will post this, along with the prologue that he provided.

PROLOGUE BY LONNIE BUERGE: Christmas is the only holiday that we are forced to celebrate even if we believe nothing about it. It is heralded by stampedes at big-box stores for supposed essential tools for our way of life. It is pervasive and omnipresent; a sort of cultural celebration of pure and holy aspirations with large doses of nostalgia and kitsch.  We murmur “Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday and Seasons Greetings” over and over in a cultural litany of good cheer.  While considered to be an essentially Christian holiday, it has its roots in pagan celebrations and retains many of those elements.  Even some Christians consider most of the stories to be myths; important but none the less mythical stories recited by bards and handed down over millennia.  In the end Christmas takes over everything, makes us frantic, pretends to be important but can leave us wore out, financially stretched and disappointed.  If we miss the point, it can seem to be nothing.

__________________

christmas is nothing
if it is not about Connections
be they friends or family;
those that touch us at the core
of our very being
and cause a lump to
rise in our throat.

christmas is nothing
if it is not about Beauty.
Songs or dance or art
created just for the
sheer joy of finding
new forms and
new views of old ones.
It is a Beauty that
lasts over years and thru change in taste.
It is not a fleeting image
of a fad or of lust
but a deep and abiding essence.

christmas is nothing
if it is not about a new Birth
a Birth within us to be more than
we are today; a determination
to add to ourselves what we have
been missing and longing for.

christmas is nothing
if it is not about Moments
moments that reach inside us
causing our hearts to swell
and our eyes to look up at our
world in wonder and love
times that echo over and over
in us in the coming months.

christmas is nothing
if it is not about Light.
light that brings warmth
and illumination of our path
that we are walking

christmas is nothing
if it is not about Mystery
a wonder and an awe at the
darkness that sends us
all of this.

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