Friday, December 26, 2008

christmas day, every day

(posted to Crossing community on Christmas Day)

It was a holy night, and now it's a glorious afternoon here in Kentucky ... and, I pray, wherever you are on this holiest of days. My cousin Lynn's house is filling with family and friends, children are running everywhere in sparkly shoes and furry boots, Uncle Sonny's fried potatoes are sizzling in the pan next to me (cue: grumbling stomach).

But before all this, a small group of us headed to church, praying and singing and taking intentional time to greet Jesus, Emmanuel, God-with-us, who is once again new to us today.

There is so much to love about this season. And so -- though we won't worship together @ The Crossing tonight or next Thursday (New Year's Day, when you're instead invited to my home for a Crossing community meal / details below) -- we can nurture the light and love of Christ wherever we are.

It's worth nurturing the spiritual gifts of Advent and Christmas, and carrying them into the year to come. Because, in a way, everyday is Annunciation: God coming to Mary -- coming to us -- and announcing, "I need you to trust me. I need you to say 'Yes!' to me, even though you do not know where it will lead. I need you to give me room to come to life in you."

O come, let us adore him.

And if there is an Annunciation everyday, there is surely an Advent, a season to wait with baited breath and hopeful hearts, even in the face of every reason to doubt. A season of waiting that is full -- pregnant, even -- with the nascent life of God, who is preparing to burst into the raw, simple, ordinary stuff of our lives.

O come, let us adore him.

And if there is an Advent everyday, then thank God, because there is also Christmas Eve. The night, the holy and radiant night, when all is in readiness, when promises are set to be fulfilled. It doesn't necessarily look obvious or auspicious -- see the stable, the rough place where Mary would pause to give birth. But God has always chosen rough and broken times and places like that, rough and broken people like us, as holy vessels to pour out God's redeeming love and life.

O come, let us adore him.

And if Christmas Eve is each night, then this morning and the next one and the next ... they're all Christmas morning. Every morning, we can wake up stunned by the wild and unpredictable ways of God. God keeps taking on flesh, keeps showing up where the world least expects, keeps coming to answer the cry of the oppressed, keeps coming close enough to enter intimate, interdependent relationship with us. May we develop the practice of seeing Christ, greeting him, caring for his life among us ... everyday.

O come, let us adore him, Christ the Lord!

What's Going On @ The Crossing?
Next Thursday, 1/1 @ 6-8pm / New Year's Community Meal in Cambridge
The Cathedral will still be closed next Thursday, but all are welcome to pile into my home in Central Square for a community meal on New Year's Day. We'll begin the year with prayer, promises and very good food. Please RSVP via email at; you'll get directions and info on what to bring.

FRI., 1/16 (evening) to SUN., 1/18 (evening) / Ruach Retreat in Maine
Don't we all need to breathe deep, share spiritual practice and get grounded for the year to come? That's the goal of the Ruach Retreat, a retreat for folks in their 20s and 30s that's co-sponsored by The Diocese of Maine and The Crossing. Location: Notre Dame Spiritual Center in Alfred, Maine (2 hrs north of Boston). Cost: $90, w/ financial assistance available. Rides: We'll have at least one car going from Boston -- details TBA. For more info: contact Ben Garren at

Small Groups @ The Crossing
The New Year is almost here, and that means Small Groups @ The Crossing are starting up again! Groups will take several shapes: closed circle and drop-in, scripture-based and topical. The promise: we'll build community and grow as disciples. Sound good? Contact Jason Long, our Minister for Community Life, to learn more or if you'd like to be part of a group (

Justice and Healing Ministries
Lots of people help out on Christmas Day, but volunteers are needed on other days, too. Join us in one of these ministries, especially if you've got some days off and want to share the love of Christ.
** Monday Lunch Program takes place here at The Cathedral every Monday, including Dec. 29. Show up @ 10am to help with set-up, or at 11:30am-12:45pm to help serve & build community with our neighbors. Contact Rev. Steph at or 617.482.4826, x318.
** St. Francis House: Volunteers needed everyday to help serve meals and provide care. Boylston St, near Chinatown. Contact Lynn Campbell at or 617.654.1212. Note: Help especially appreciated on Wed., 11/26 at 9-11am (meal prep) and 11:15am-1:15pm (serve meal).

More Details ...
If you'd like more details -- other Justice and Service ministries, contact info for Crossing leaders -- scroll down to an earlier blog entry. May God give you a blessed, merry, peaceful, patient, joy-filled Christmas ... today and everyday!

Rev. Steph

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