I went to church today with my parents in rural PA.
The pastor of the church spoke of how secular versions of the Christmas Spirit are already packed away for next year. But the true work of Christmas begins after the hub-bub goes away and the reality of God's love takes hold in each of us. God's Spirit stirs us to serve and love one another all year long. Where, instead of just sending Christmas cards, we send notes to one another all year to communicate how much we care. Instead of giving Christmas gifts, we give to one another all year out of the abundance we have received through God's generosity. People don't stop needing us to reach out to them just because Christmas has passed. The year 2008 is essentially over. We stand at the threshold of next year...how will we spend it, how will we celebrate it, how will we join God in telling others that he loves them each dearly?
After the church service, we all went downstairs to the church basement to have a New Year's Party. We got to be the first in York County (or anywhere for that matter) to do a countdown, with hats, noisemakers and all.
As a local-ish tradition (it's actually a Baltimorean tradition) we all ate pickled Herring. It's kinda like German sushi on a toothpick. It was salty and vinegar-y, as I expected, but it had an unexpected sweetness to it.
Just so no one could get out of taking a taste, Pastor Henry had everyone stand in a circle and pass the plate of herring around. Allison was worried she was going to have to taste it. I told her don't worry, even some of the grownups didn't want to try it.
(see pic of my dad, not wanting to try it)
When it was all over, we sang Kum ba yah. Yes, we were standing in a circle, holding hands and singing Kum Ba Yah. It's not just a cliche anymore, it's a New Year. Welcome 2009!
March update - Riding Bikes!
6 years ago