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Seriously: Let's Be Jolly!

The Italians seemed so subdued. In previous years, I felt so Anglo, talking quietly across the table while all around me the Romans were inches from each other’s faces, gesturing with their hands, laughing and interacting exuberantly. But this year when I visited my brother, people seemed so glum. Why?
The Covid years were hard. There’s a war in Europe. Inflation. Western culture ruthlessly shredding itself. There’s a lot prompting us all to be somber. Lots of people are frustrated and angry most of the time.
But is that the way it should be for those united to Jesus as Christmas approaches? 
Have we, have I, forgotten the treasures in our storehouse of faith? Couldn’t we open the jewel box and pull out some of these lovely strands: The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness cannot overcome it. Unto us a child is born. Unto us a Son is given. His name is Immanuel, God with us. For he shall save his people. You, child, shall be a light to enlighten all people. And of his kingdom, there shall be no end. What if we composed our thoughts with these shining verses every day this month?
The world is certainly no worse than it was the year Jesus was born. We have a Redeemer. We know the truth. We know how the story will end. Seriously, people, it’s time to get jolly and let the world see its hope.
A Festive Eve, A Quiet Day
As usual, we will have three services on Christmas Eve: 11 am, 4 and 6 pm. Though the music varies slightly, each will feature Silent Night, Joy to the World, candlelight and communion. My message is called “Home Calling.” Christmas Day is a Sunday and we decided to offer a 5 pm service in the Chapel. This will be “A Quiet Christmas,” with time to reflect and pray after all the festivities have wound down. 
Our congregation keeps Christmas with devoted faith, many signs of giving to others, good cheer and a true joy in belonging to Christ. I love to keep Christmas with you!