Untangling Christmas ...
Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of joining the Advent/Christmas 'decorating crew' at Kemble United Church. Not particularly blessed with other decorating skills, I spent some time untangling strings of tree lights and other garlands.
It made me ponder about the 'untangling' we might be called to do each year as we prepare for the sacred season of celebrating God's love born into the world - AND the secular festivities that accompany this season. In other words, we must reconcile the 'Santa Claus is Coming to Town' parts with the cry of 'O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.'
There is no doubt that the secular celebrations that include Santa and magic and gift-giving can help to spread joy and can increase generosity and community spirit. These are all positive! But our focus on an abundance of parties and gatherings and finding 'just the right gift' - or at least lots of them - can make some feel impoverished and alone.
So if we can 'extricate' our nativity story from the other stories - a story of a simple-yet-profound birth, to a young mother in a strange town distant from family, distant from the bustle of a Bethlehem filled to capacity - we may come to the shining light of God's love come in human form.
Prayer might be the key to the untangling for some, reading anew the nativity stories from Matthew and Luke's Gospels might help others. Attending one of the many worship or learning opportunities in our Pastoral Charge throughout December might be just the thing for finding a way through Advent to God-With-Us.
I do know that when the garlands and lights, the stories and feelings are finally sorted out, it is a very satisfying time.
Rev Joanne Hedge
(email Joanne at
previous musings on the 'Our Ministries' page
"Waiting for What??"
A program for kids and youth
to explore Advent and prepare for Christmas
Saturday, November 30
9:30 am - 12:00
Kemble United Church