The sermon for Christmas Eve is a reminder of why we celebrate Christmas. It is based on Luke 2:1-20.
I suppose National Novel Writing Month is a good thing, but I wish it was in March. Or that I had finished my manuscript “Uncle Bush’s Live Funeral” in some other month. One or the other would have been fine, but since NaNoWriMo is in November, and that’s when I happened to finish “Uncle Bush’s Live Funeral,” I’m in a bit of a pickle.
You see, lots of people finish manuscripts at the end of NaNoWriMo. And what do they do with them? The same thing I’m doing- they look for an agent. I’ve been warned that, as a result of NaNoWriMo, agents get swamped with manuscripts in December, and most of them suck. They are hastily written and poorly edited. The agents, already distracted by Christmas like everyone else, tend to not give every manuscript the attention it deserves. If I submitted mine now I would risk getting lost in a flood of poorly edited manuscripts. If I want to be sure my work gets seen, I have to wait until at least mid-January.
It’s only taken me three years to write this thing, so what’s another month? It’s annoying, that’s what it is. Oh well. I put so much work into “Uncle Bush’s Live Funeral” that I’m not going to be hasty now. Another month really isn’t that big of a deal. But I don’t like it, and neither does Jean-Luc Picard.
Last week, Bert Weiss from the Bert Show shared his thoughts on his drinking problem. His reflections reveal how complex alcoholism really is. It’s not usually people who are falling down drunk and living in gutters. It’s usually people like Bert. Give this a read, then listen to the audio.
The River has been around for six years. In that time, I have done several funerals, but they were all for family members of people in the church. Yesterday, I did the first funeral for someone who was part of our church family. When I started this church, I wondered if being a church family would make things like hospital visits and funerals better or worse. In my previous churches, I did not know anyone as well as I know the people in The River. Would I come to regret being a family when I buried someone I cared about deeply?
Yesterday, I found out that I did not regret it even a little.
I’m still processing why, but I think it simply comes down to the fact that Tennyson was right: ‘Tis better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all.
It has been an odd start to the Christmas season. The timing of Thanksgiving, and events in our church life, have not seemed to fit with Christmas. They do, however, fit with Advent, which is the season of the church year we are in. Advent is a time of preparation for God’s arrival, and for the new things God is doing. In this sermon, we hear about how God has promised to come in the past, how God did come, and how we hope for God to come in the future.