The Sunday before Christmas is my excuse to wear my red shirt. Since I'm now sporting a beard (that is mostly white) I've been encouraged to let it grow for next year. I don't think so.
Lots of "Merry Christmas"es, hugs, exchanges of hugs and cards and a celebratory spirit. Again, our 11:00 crowd was a little bigger (and livlier) than at 9. And we had lots of guests, both family in for the holiday and those who love to be here for Christmas.
A couple of weeks ago, as I was teaching about the necessity of God's Word in our growth as disciples, I offered to anyone who didn't have a Bible that if they would ask, I'd get them one. Yesterday I had the joy of giving a Bible to a new attender who didn't own one. This is a fun job I have.
The music was great - again mixing new arrangements of old carols, with a new Christmas song and "Glory in the Highest", which is an awesome song. This Sunday was likely Nathan's last leading us for a while until after Tricia's medical needs (including giving birth to my granddaughter and receiving a double lung transplant) are resolved, which could be several months.
I took the last two Sundays to look at "Jesus Other Name: How God Can Be With Us". The first Sunday was about Immanuel, and why God had to become a man to redeem us. Then yesterday I focused on how God is with us today in the person of the Holy Spirit and how we as Christ's body are His visible presence in the world until He returns. Here's a comment I got this AM about the messages:
"I am especially blessed to have heard your last two messages. You really 'came down' to our level. I guess that could be called, the level of 'non-seminary scholars',to share the Christmas story."
For me, as a pastor and communicator, that's what it's all about.
And congrats to both the Redskins for a great game and to the ECU Pirates for their bowl victory in Hawaii. Let's hope the Skins are ready as the Evil Empire comes to DC Sunday.