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Wednesday, December 20, 2017

"Ready or Not Here Christmas Comes" - Pastor Cindy's Devotion - December 20, 2017

Good morning friends!

Christmas has a way of coming at us, ready or not. God made God’s way into the world on God’s schedule, not ours. For some of us, Christmas will arrive with a flock of family members laughing their way in the door. For others, Christmas will make its presence known in the smell of gingerbread cookies. Last night Dave and I read Christmas cards from old friends and there was Christmas in memories of times spent together and the rich gift of friendship. Perhaps for others, Christmas will arrive at a quarter to ten on Christmas Eve in the sanctuary, our faces aglow with candlelight as we sing “Silent Night.”

For so many of us, Christmas also arrives with a sense of loss. We remember those who have died who will not be here to share Christmas. My grandmother, a maker of suet pudding (ICK!), is no longer here to stretch out her big dining room table and invite us all to the feast. My dad, the one who sat in his recliner with a pile of envelopes on his lap with our names written on them, will not be here to hand out those envelopes with money tucked inside and follow the distribution with his annual Christmas speech describing how much he and my mom love us all.

Maybe the losses come in a different ways. Maybe this is the first Christmas after the divorce and Christmas is awkward and divisive and painful. Maybe this is the Christmas after the job loss or the end of a friendship.

Christmas arrives despite all this. God makes God’s way. We love the sweetness of Christmas, the sparkle, and the lights, but on that first Christmas God was not warmly welcomed with hot spice and a plate of cookies. God came to ease the world’s pain. Over the years in our excitement and gratitude, we added the sweetness and sparkle.

So this Christmas, if the loss is evident, if Christmas carries sadness or if you just want to remember, you are invited to participate in the Blue Christmas Service at 11 am December 24th in the Café community room. The Stephen Ministers have provided a special Christmas Tree covered with blue lights. There are also blue decorations available. You can write the name of a loved one or a circumstance on a decoration and hang it on the tree as a memorial of who or what was lost. In a short service we will open the empty places in our hands and our hearts, acknowledge the losses and bow our heads before God. Christmas arrives, even to empty mangers.
This week at West Des Moines United Methodist Church

Just a reminder!  December 24th, Christmas Eve we will worship at 9:30 am6 pm and 9 pm.  The evening services will conclude with a candlelight singing of Silent Night.  There will also be a special Blue Christmas Service at 11 am.

Christmas Blessings to you,

Pastor Cindy

Pastor Cindy Hickman

West Des Moines United Methodist Church
720 Grand Avenue
West Des Moines Iowa 50265

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