A View from the Belfry December 2019

November 25th, 2019 by Kali Lewis

Hello from this very wintry belfry! As I write this, we have had our Trunk-or-Treat event, which was very successful, despite a COLD wind which sent January shivers up and down our spines even though it was still October. This bat appreciates all the volunteers we had helping with the Halloween candy distribution in the parking lot. They included Ruth Annelin, BJ Ash (the fireman in the photography booth), Kristin Anderson, Pastor Don Bedwell, Kerry Billings, Sara Blanchard, Janet Helmbold, Connie Kelsey, Sherry Koschmider, Kali Lewis, and her mother Mary Schulze, and Gayle and Bill Tufnell. Kerry also decorated the church for the occasion, with Halloween spooks, pumpkins, bales of hay, corn stalks (thanks to Vic and Sharon Vanderville), and other assorted decorations. Now it’s on to Thanksgiving and its turkey, cranberries, pumpkin pie, and everything else in between, which will be followed all too soon by the Christmas rush to shop, wrap, write cards, put up and decorate the tree, make the house festive, bake the cookies, make the candy, hang stockings, etc. etc. etc. Sometimes I wonder what Jesus would say if He came back in human flesh during all this hubbub. Would He have to dodge a flying sleigh pulled by flying reindeer and transporting a rather robust man in a red suit? Would He muse over a tree with all kinds of glitter and tinsel on it, as well as balls, lights, and perhaps decorations ranging from angels to Barbie and John Deere tractors? Would He wonder, as I do, what these things have to do with His birth as a baby in a dark and smelly stable, and lying in a food trough instead of a bed? Perhaps He’d see all the happiness on peoples’ faces, as well as the exhaustion, and the worried and sad looks on the faces of those for whom this season has more challenges and sad memories than peace and joy. Maybe He’d enjoy the Christmas carols about a silent night, or a little town called Bethlehem, or people singing about joy coming to the world. He’d most likely wonder how and why Grandma got run over by a reindeer, or what losing two front teeth has to do with Christmas, and why a child should want them so badly when they will most likely be growing back soon anyway. Hopefully He wouldn’t be too dismayed by all the long lines of people waiting at a store all night for the doors to open so everybody can get inside early to get whatever toy or doodad everybody wants and simply must have this year, knowing that whatever the “must have” item was last year may well be lost, broken, or cast aside as not anything anyone wants any more. I hope He might stop at a church on Christmas Eve, perhaps when He sees light pouring out through beautiful stained glass windows, and hears the strains of a Christmas carol played by an organ, floating softly through the air. If He enters, I hope He will see a sanctuary filled with  people, celebrating His birth as a tiny babe, and worshiping Him. He would  hopefully see the love these people have for Him and for each other, and for all the other people in the world who are not there or in any church for whatever reason. Sometimes we forget that God sent Jesus to all people, including those who are not in any church, who do not want to go to any church, or who even scorn and hate the people who do go to church. After all, these are the people for whom Jesus came and for whom He is still searching and   holding the door open, inviting them to enter. He asks us to do the same for them, this Christmas and always. Can we? Will we?                                                                                                                                     Merry Christmas and best wishes for a life filled with love, peace, and the presence of Jesus in your heart.