Scott's Weekly Greeting - August 11
Did you enjoy the worship service on Sunday? (If you have not watched it yet ... check it out on the church's YouTube channel.)
What was your favorite part? The carols? The special music? The special guests? Or simply the opportunity to let go of the difficulties and struggles of recent weeks and enjoy a brief visit to Bethlehem?
Did the service lift your spirits? It lifted ours! Jacqui, the media team, and I were all excited like school children on Christmas morning! We could not wait to open the presents!
Let me pause and offer my gratitude to the team that made the magic of Christmas happen. Jacqui spent hours recording and editing the virtual choir anthem and it was fabulous! Freddie Connelly recorded most of the pieces, edited them together and added the special effects. My nephew, Willem, did record the shepherd's piece for us. Then during the service Freddie and his father, Fred, coordinated all of the video files and live action for the stream. It was a true team effort!
As I mentioned, it was nice to forget about the troubles of the world for a few moments and revel in the spirit of Christmas. It felt wonderful to sing those carols! It made our spirits soar! All of the music sang to our souls, and hopefully the special guests made you laugh ... and also think.
The shepherd was an integral part of the community, but was not always made to feel welcome. He was akin to many of our modern day essential workers who often went unnoticed ... and unappreciated ... until the pandemic came to town. We know that was one of the reasons that the news of Jesus' birth went to them first. They needed the news of the Savior's birth!
As we read through scripture, we see that Jesus put a lot of emphasis upon those who were on the margins of society. The ancient purity codes and historic conflicts provided numerous groups of people that were considered to be "dirty" and unwelcome.
Sadly, not much has changed. The names are different, but the patterns of exclusion and prejudice have not. The shepherd felt left out, but there are others who are actively pushed away, intentionally denigrated and diminished. They are the ones to whom the Shepherd speaks. They are the ones to whom he extends hospitality. They are the ones that need to hear from the angels.
Let us be those angels.
Congregational ChurchUCC, SACO MAINE12 BEACH STREET | SACO, ME 04072