I am one of the first to say that brick and mortar do not make a sanctuary; I well understand that God can be worshipped in a gym, a library, a forest clearing, or a theatre. Still........at this time of year, there is something particular about a churchhouse.
It's quiet right now, which is not the norm. Over the last few weeks it has been filled with light and noise and Scripture and music and outreach and food and costumes and communion and poinsettias. And tomorrow evening it will be filled with candlelight and music and the Grinch and scared shepherds and Francis X Cross and pondering mothers and Ebeneezer Scrooge and the Prince of Peace.
But now - right now - at the present moment: there is light streaming through the stained glass windows. There are figures of the Holy Family which , if you sort of squint, look lifelike. There is homemade fudge from a church member. There is handbell music on the tables.
There is peace.
Because tomorrow we will celebrate something that already is. We will welcome someone who already lives with us. We will be surprised by a story we've heard all our lives.
Little Ones:Don't let the Little Red Hens of this world tell you there is a War that threatens to take Christmas from you. He is already here. And if you can't see Him, look: he is in the face of someone you already know. He is in the face of someone you don't like. He is in the face of someone who needs food. Or clothes. Or a hug.
He brings peace - not as the world gives. And if the world didn't give it to us, the world can't take it away.
He Is Already Here. And Always Will Be. World Without End. Amen. In the past, the present, and the future.