Pastor's Column


"All was calm. All was bright. The soloist rose to sing a Christmas lullaby. As if on cue, my tender and mild infant son (Josh? Jesus?) awoke with a start and began to cry at the top of his lungs."

 

~ Pastor Bonnie

 
 

Pastor’s Column . . .

 

"And the word became flesh and lived among us…" - John 1:14

 

It was December 24, 1993. I had been asked to play Mary, with my nine-day-old son, Josh, playing Jesus, for our church’s Christmas Eve worship service.

 

For the occasion, the chancel had been decorated like a stable, complete with imitation cows, sheep, and donkeys. I, dressed in Mary-type robes, took my place, seated front and center on a hay bale, and began rocking my cherubic, sleeping son (who was wrapped in swaddling clothes, of course!) as the choirs began their music. It was easy to get into the role. I was sure I knew how Mary must have felt, holding her precious, miracle child close on a cold winter’s night, as the songs of the heavenly host filled the air.

 

All was calm. All was bright. The soloist rose to sing a Christmas lullaby. As if on cue, my tender and mild infant son (Josh? Jesus?) awoke with a start and began to cry at the top of his lungs. The soloist began her song, even though she must have realized she didn’t have a chance of being heard. I rocked faster. She sang louder. I paced back and forth. Josh screamed louder. I tried the pacifier (whether Mary would have had access to a pacifier or not was irrelevant for me at that point). Absolutely nothing worked. Josh would not be solaced, and the soloist, unable to hear the piano accompaniment, finally gave up.

 

Even after I’d made an escape to the sacristy, the congregation had to endure another several minutes of hysterical crying before I could figure out how to disentangle myself from my robes and sashes to nurse my distraught son.

 

Silent night? Holy night? Maybe. There were moments, I’m sure. Josh and I finally enjoyed a few moments back in the far corner of the sacristy as I imagined the congregation gazing upon the empty manger as they sang the closing carol. But I’m equally sure that there were moments when Jesus, Emmanuel – our God with us – did His best to make sure that everyone would understand that He was a real, human being – someone who understands hunger, impatience, and all other aspects of being mortal as well as any of us.

 

As we enter into these seasons of Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany, let us heed the words of Ann Weems from her poem, The Coming of God:

 

    Watch…

        For you know not when God comes.

 

    Watch, that you might be found

        whenever

            wherever

            God comes.

 

Be God’s, Pastor Bonnie

 

 

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Fax: 1(215) 679 6684
E-mail: office@newgoshucc.org