Christmas Eve

Topic : Daily Glimpses

My childhood was full of church.
Sunday services.
Wednesday night prayer meetings.

And a distinct feeling of not being good enough.

As an adult I have stayed away from church.

Choosing to find God in walks, meditation, in the births of my children.

My yoga mat.

Communion through conversations with dear friends.

But, on Christmas Eve, we went to church.

My friend is the youth pastor.
She told me my daughter would be able to wear a costume as the Nativity Scene would be acted and the Christmas story read.

My daughter was welcomed with open arms by the other kids.

One offered to help her find angel wings.

A head band with a glitter halo attached was placed on her head.

A white sack-style dress slipped on over her flower print leggings.

Her glitter strappy shoes peaked out as she ran through the sanctuary, chasing after my friend’s daughter who was dressed as Mary.

As the service started we headed to our pew, she kept asking to “go play” not understanding that she was going to be IN a play.

In true family service style there were babies crying.
And a little girl, in her Christmas finest, that kept escaping her mother to crawl to the poinsettias set up on the stage.
Her “Ho, Ho, Ho” flashing on the rear end of her tights as she raced away.

When the angels were called up from the audience to see the baby Jesus, my daughter hustled up and onto the stage with the other kids.

Not a moment of hesitation.

She was the shortest.
Knew no one but “Mary”.
And was totally comfortable.

That’s what church should be like.

You show up.
Get included.
And you’re a member, if only for one night.

Once the angles met Jesus for a song, off the stage they ran.

I had to maneuver forward a few pews, holding my son, whispering yelling, “Clarabelle, Clarabelle, over here”.

She finally heard me and came my way, her halo tipped forward off the headband and nearly covering her face.

She sat on my lap and I handed my son off to my mom.
He flung tithe envelopes all over the floor.

There were a few more songs.
Then my friend, who was seated in the row in front of us, turned and gave me a thumbs up.

Service was over.

As we hugged and exchanged “Merry Christmas” and “Happy Holidays”, it felt warm.
Welcoming.
Like I wanted to come back.

An evening of Holy.
At a church.
Imagine that.

Emma

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