We come early but already the church is pretty full. Too full for our group of 8 to sit together. The girls and their guest sit in the middle of a row in the middle of the church. My parents and I are two rows ahead of them, next to the pastor and his wife. My sister and her husband are several rows ahead and to the right.
The service is simple, reliant on the scripture stories, unpacking the human drama of a divine intervention in history, what it meant to the actors in the moment, what it means for us today. Each act is interspersed with the congregation rising to sing a Christmas song.
It’s lovely. Not the music so much (though that is true too). But the worship. The story.
And as much as I would love to be able to reach out and put my arm around my nieces, my sister, etc., there is a familiar sweetness, I realize, that because we aren’t together at this moment, I feel my connections spread over this church for the moment.
And I know that sensation, and so I miss my old church family. I miss the joy of friends around me and the warmth of familiarity and connection throughout the church as we join in worship.
I miss my family of friends. I hope they are having a blessed Christmas as well.
I love you guys. Merry Christmas.
🎄 🎄 🎄