Gift and Giver

| December 21st, 2023

Dear Beloved Community,

If I had a dollar for every one of you who’ve shared with such gratitude what Sunday’s service of Lessons & Carols meant to you… well, I’d have a host of dollars, that’s for sure!

From new members who haven’t yet experienced this service at First on Fifth, to some of our longest-tenured members at Brookridge who said it came through the wires just as clear and beautiful as if they’d been in the room, and all of us in between, this time of worship was full of all which makes this season come to life, wasn’t it? Everyone in my house (save for the dog!) has been humming the carols since Sunday, and I trust that for all of us, the gifts of that hour of worship will carry us to the manger and beyond.

Those gifts are at the heart of this season, aren’t they? They’re not all as grand and resplendent as Lessons and Carols, though no less meaningful. The gift of community and long love that we found caroling at Brookridge last night. The gift of grief held and hope undimmed we’ll find when we gather tonight as shadows grow around us for the Longest Night Service. The gift of vision for justice made plain we’ll hear again on Sunday morning, as we light the candle of Love and remember Mary’s magnificent magnificat of a world made good and right. The gift of mystery and wonder we’ll find as that holy night comes yet again, and we gather for our Christmas Eve service of carols and candlelight. The gift of beloved community, that grows exponentially with every passing year we share together. 

Gifts abundant and real, from the Giver of all hope, peace, joy, and love who became Gift for the sake of the world. Jesus came to dwell among us, after all!

Together in God’s work of Love,
Pastor Emily