Dear people of God:
Over Labor Day weekend I made the Christmas pudding. I don’t complain that people start too soon to prepare for Christmas, since I usually start 3½ months in advance. I love to let the Christmas pudding cure for a long time. It sits in a cool, dark place, the flavors mixing and the consistency growing uniform. Many of you have enjoyed my Christmas pudding at our annual open house.
Well, almost annual. It didn’t happen in 2020, and so I never made a Christmas pudding. I didn’t buy a Christmas roast, didn’t make a big bowl of eggnog. Kathleen and I had a quiet Christmas alone, without the gathering of friends we usually enjoy. No Christmas pudding needed.
Hope is concrete when you do something. Someone said that planting a tree is an investment in the future. Many have dedicated their lives and careers to space exploration; they are investing themselves in things they will not see come to fruition. You plan a trip, you start a garden, you begin a business: you do things because you hope they will amount to something.
Although we are not having food events in the Church building now; although we wear masks whenever we are together; although many are remaining sheltered at home: I hope things will get enough better by December that we can celebrate Christmas together. I’m grateful for the beautiful Christmas services we did last year, and it was fun to get creative and, for example, give the sermon seated by a fireplace. But I hope we can have Christmas together this year, to light candles and sing “Silent Night” as midnight approaches. I hope I can look in your beautiful faces and recite the Prologue to the Gospel of John.
And I hope that you can come to the Church apartment for food. There will be Christmas pudding.