Anyone read “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever”? Remember the mayhem of the Christmas pageant? That’s the Malizzos when it comes to traditions. Really. Some of the “traditions” I’ve come up with are fun: stockings, cookie exchanges, making ornaments (what was I thinking? Glitter….enough said), decorating, and Christmas cards. I’m a little tired just thinking about it.
What do my kids remember? Likely they will just remember stocking paraphernalia, cookie icing, glitter, and the cool lighty-up mini Christmas tree that they fought over. Not too bad. Fun memories certainly. We celebrate Christmas with all of our fun, and there’s nothing wrong with that but what about Christ?
Are these “traditions” just giving a nod to a baby in a manger so we can get on with the gifts?
To be honest, I don't have very Christ-celebrating fruit when I push for “my” traditions. Christ’s fruit (joy, peace, and patience, to name a few) are festivity-ed out of my heart. And then - true confession - I end up feeling guilty. Guilty for spending too much money; guilty for sort of mixing culture with sacred; guilty for personally not focusing on the Messiah King more than decking the halls.
If that’s me celebrating Christmas then what does it look like for me to celebrate Christ?
Funny enough, it’s the traditions that I really have very little to do with. It’s lingering fellowship with dear friends around our kitchen table, movies with others, time away from the crazy to be a family, and PJ’s until noon. It’s eating cookies together with milk and hot chocolate while staying up past bed time. It’s reading “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” as a family. It is NOT anything having to do with glitter because glitter is just wrong.
These are the things that make me dwell on how “the Savior reigns” and make me want to “repeat the sounding joy”. They are Kingdom gifts as are Christ choosing to wrap Himself in flesh, choosing to be a servant rather than a king, and choosing to give His perfection to us and die as the guilty in our place. And they turn my heart to worship the baby in the manger and not just give a nod.
Celebrating Christ during Christmastime, by enjoying his gifts, trumps the mayhem of the Christmas pageant and brings rest.
We are excited to announce that we will have an in-person worship service outside at 8:30am in the MCC parking lot! We can’t wait to see you! In addition, our Sunday live-stream (on Facebook and Instagram) will move to 10:00am for the foreseeable future for those who are not be able to join us.
We’ve chosen for our service to happen outdoors as there are still a number of requirements and protocol for indoor gatherings. So, we are not inviting you to join us indoors at this time. Instead, come for our outdoor gathering, or continue to join us online later from home.
Please read the Guidelines for Gathering to Worship Together at MCC in its entirety so that you know what to expect when you come to our outdoor service. This will help you and those around you navigate a very new situation, hopefully in a way that is as seamless as possible. We believe that our unity will be expressed and strengthened as we serve one another in Christ this week so join us in extending grace to each other, amid our differing perspectives, and different views about how to live in this time.
“... submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”
“Outdo one another in showing honor.”
“By this all men will know that you are My disciples,
if you have love for one another.”
Please know that we are making every effort for this gathering to be in full compliance with the protocols given by authorities. No single plan for our meeting will ever be the perfect solution in any one person’s eyes. We will all be making compromises. But as we defer to these guidelines set up by our elders and leadership, we will be serving our fellow believers, honoring Christ as best we can, and providing for a beautiful expression of worship to happen together.
Please stay home if any of the following apply to you:
- You are immunocompromised.
- You are feeling ill (running a fever, coughing, or showing other signs of sickness)
Please don’t put yourself or others at risk. Thank you for staying home and staying safe, because we love you!