Merry COVID Christmas !?

Give light, and the darkness will disappear of itself.

~ Desiderius Erasmus

I am not sure how many of you have driven by the church at night over the last day or so.  Those of you who have no doubt noticed the “marvelous” star now hanging on the exterior of our building.  It was designed and built by local resident and member Andy Marvel, who sadly passed away in September at the age of 66 years old.  Andy was a successful designer and contractor who built this shining star using aluminum tubing, chicken wire and lots of LED lights.  It spans 9 feet from point to point, which means it is hard to move around.  Andy’s wife offered it to the church and we were happy to add it to our trove of holiday decorations.  We thank for the Marvel family for this “marvelous” display of celestial light.

Right now, I suspect all of us need to find ways to foster moments that are merry and bright.  As the threat of the Omicron variant looms, the whole country will need to scale back its in-person gatherings and programs at least for the time being.  While we plan to hold services here on Christmas Eve they will be shortened with lots of precautions in place, including propping open the doors to the sanctuary to maximize airflow.  It will be drafty but lovely on Christmas Eve, even as we all sit in pods with our masks.  If you can’t join us in person, I hope you will consider streaming our service on Zoom at 4:00 pm or watch a recording of it after 6:00.

This Sunday we will hold a special “Storybook” service during which we share stories from the season.  There are so many traditions and tales connected to Christmas that cannot be shared in a few services each year.  Sunday morning will also be streamed on Zoom for folks who wish to participate from a distance.  This has become our new standard practice on Sundays.

I know people are feeling anxious, forlorn and frustrated.  I think all of us are dismayed as we descend into another winter of social separation and anxiety.  Merry COVID Christmas!

Lest we forget there continue to be many opportunities to create light and share it others.  Indeed the traditions surrounding the Twelve Days of Christmas developed for this very purpose – to bring light during the darkest – and hardest – days of the year.  Among other things, our collection on Christmas Eve will be shared with the regional effort to assist Afghani refugees who are moving to the Boston area this winter.  And we think OUR life is hard right now!

So here’s to sharing the light with our loved ones and our communities.  And here’s to finding ways both big and small to kindle that light in others.  And if you do nothing else this weekend to brighten your spirits, drive by the church and behold Andy’s Marvelous Star.

Merry Christmas!