A Full Day out there. A beautiful, sunny Christmas Eve. Bear with me for the blessings:
Santa Jack’s visit to the corner. Chaplain Jack of my congregation has been walking the Columbia Mall to keep up his health. He looks like Santa and wears a hat and sometimes the full suit as we walks. People have been greeting him, taking photos, and even asking for prayers over the last weeks. He’s been spreading joy and wonders, “What happens after Christmas?” He visited me on the corner today with a friend of his who snapped our photo. Great to see them both and have them wave a bit!
In addition to a lot of quick chats, I got to have extended conversations with Vantage Point neighbors. They approached in sequence as I left the corner. I got to share my lingering question from yesterday with my second new friend, “How is joy going for you?” I was delighted to learn that she is a flight attendant. I loved hearing about all the ways that she brings joys to the passengers, especially the children.
Our Shared World
Tonight in my sermon I shared the poem “Gate A-4” by Naomi Shihab Nye. She describes a surprising party held in the airport. Strangers become friends. Barriers are crossed as passengers share cookies. Simple on the surface, but such miraculous moment:
“And I looked around that gate of late and weary ones and I thought, This
is the world I want to live in. The shared world…This can still happen anywhere. Not everything is lost.”
Often, friends, I am looking at the road at the bustling and weary ones on their way. I consider all the many things that are a source of lament or despair. I give thanks for the shared world that we share. For the waves that connect us. For joy that keeps being born.
At the end of our Christmas Eve Service tonight, a congregant and longtime Columbian extended an awesome package. Environmentally friendly balloons. A Merry Christmas, indeed! The card read, “to keep your joy afloat!”
After a busy day of Christmas Eve prep, it was a gift to come home to my daughter’s welcome home sign. It was like her wave to me. I also think that this waving for joy is sparking her own creativity. As she trailed off to bed, she rushed back to the living room, “I had to turn on the Christmas lights on the tree so that they can bring Santa joy.”
I am delightfully sinking into the day as my brother-in-law and mother-in-law have a cinnamon roll bake-off. It will be some moments yet before bed.
Blessings to all and to all a joy-filled night.
Pastor | Kittamaqundi Community Church | Columbia, Maryland