By The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster
A memory came to me this week that I had forgotten for many years: I was eight or nine years old, sitting on the piano bench in the living room practicing Christmas carols on my violin, when as if out of nowhere What Child Is This? brought me to tears. The hymn held the gentleness I was searching for in a season in which “Christmas cheer” holds sway. Even as a child I recognized that Joy to the World! carries with it a welcome and festive sacred spirit, but sometimes we need a more gentle, more peaceful tenderness of Christmas. We need places that are quiet at Christmastime.
Silence and calm sustains sacred waiting, holy longing, and an acknowledgment of the long dark nights. The deep blues of the stained glass window at night carry part of God’s peace that passes understanding. The pinpricks of light that comes from the ancient practice of prayerful candle lighting makes room for the Holy Spirit to draw near unadorned. The evergreen trees wrapped in strands of light remind us that the rhythms of winter and summer, darkness and light, that carry us through the ebb and flow of life’s ups and downs.
You need this place of quiet. I need this place of quiet. I bet you know someone else who doesn’t receive this newsletter, who needs an invitation too. So join us on Tuesday, December 17 at 7:30 p.m. in the Sanctuary for our 7th annual Quiet Christmas Worship. The evening of candlelight and song will include poems, scripture, and sacred readings by church members on the theme of “blessing the quiet darkness,” an A Cappella choir, and a handful of Quiet Christmas carols.