Scott's Weekly Greeting ...
“Into this world, this demented inn
in which there is absolutely no room for him at all,
Christ comes uninvited.” ~ Thomas Merton
Every evening ... or afternoon ... as the sun sets, I turn on the outdoor lights at the parsonage. I am not sure why I do that. Since the onset of the global pandemic, we do not have many visitors. In fact, I am startled when the doorbell actually rings! I suppose that I turn on the lights as a sign of hospitality. I know that no one is going to stop by, but just in case someone does I want them to know that they are welcome.
It is surprising how easily our brains can become re-wired. After a few months of social distancing, watching movies has taken on a new dynamic. Crowd scenes make me anxious! They are all too close to one another and no one is wearing masks! When I do meet with members of the church, I watch us automatically triangulate so that we are all six to eight feet apart ... or more. It seems to have become second nature to us.
During the run-up to the elections, voters on both sides of the issues, supporters of various candidates easily adopted their talking points. One need not listen to their stump speeches or watch the ads. Just listen to their supporters. In the weeks since the election, the talking has diminished some, but the sides are still divided.
I wish that we could assimilate the way of love as quickly and as easily. I wish that words of peace fell as easily from the tips of our tongues. I wish that human hearts were filled to overflowing with kindness and compassion.
In the church, it is the season of Advent. It is our time of spiritual anticipation and preparation. For those outside the church, there is little awareness of what Avent is or what it means. For them, it is the season of Christmas. It is still a time to prepare ... to shop, and decorate, and wrap. If you are a church-goer or not, it will be a season of kindness and generosity. Everyone seems to be kinder and gentler during these weeks before Christmas. Sadly, those acts of community and kindness disappear pretty quickly after Christmas day.
Jesus Christ was born in a humble cattle stall over two thousand years ago. The Messiah that had been hoped and prayed for came! Love came down! The Prince of Peace was born! We have been celebrating that wonderful and miraculous event for centuries. And yet, the world only seems to embrace his message on certain occasions. The world welcomes him as if he is some relative that we hope will only stay for a day or two, and then we thank him for stopping by for the visit.
Love came down, and keeps coming down ... day after day, season after season, year after year. I pray that one day soon we will allow him to stay.
Congregational ChurchUCC, SACO MAINE12 BEACH STREET | SACO, ME 04072