Christmas Eve morning, wow! Here it is. I hope you are able to watch our Christmas Eve service online today. We put a ton of hard work into it to make it as special as possible for you. If you are apart from friends or family, particularly if you are by yourself, find a way to connect with someone as we raise the light of Christ during Silent Night. Facebook messenger, Facetime, Skype, text, even a simple phone call to a friend during that moment. It can be as involved as experiencing the entire service together, or as minimal as saying, “I miss you.” Let the light of Christ shine in whatever way you are able to.
Sometimes in staff meetings I do a little bit called “sad facts”. It is a way to find a bit of humor in the midst of a moment or situation where someone is feeling down. Well, today’s sad fact is that this is the first Christmas Eve that I have not sang, played, or directed something at a church since I was a boy. I am not sure of the exact age, but it has to be around 8 or 9. Now, I say this with a bit of humor because for the first time in a long time, I have the night off! And for the first time in a long time, I get to have my Christmas Eve tradition at a reasonable hour, rather than after midnight. It still counts as a Christmas Eve tradition because I have not slept yet!
My Christmas Eve tradition is watching The Muppet Christmas Carol. This is my favorite Christmas movie. The reason why I have to watch it on Christmas Eve is because I have to have this movie, it’s music, and it’s message in my head and heart when I go to bed. In this way, Christmas morning becomes like Easter morning for me. I am re-born with what I think is one of the loveliest ways to think about Christmas. Christmas lasts all year-long, and it starts when we wake up on Christmas morning. I know that idea is not unfamiliar to some, but my guess is that my reasoning, taken from The Muppet Christmas Carol, might be a fresh perspective.
I love Charles Dickens, so I am already sold with A Christmas Carol. I love the Muppets, so at this point I could not be any more sold. However, the music in The Muppet Christmas Carol is what elevates everything for me. I love all of the music in the movie, but especially the song “It Feels Like Christmas”. This is when the ghost of Christmas present really lays it out there.
It’s in the singing of a street corner choir, it’s going home and getting warm by the fire.
It’s true. Wherever you find love, it feels like Christmas.
A cup of kindness that we share with another, a sweet reunion with a friend or a brother.
In all the places you find love, it feels like Christmas.
It is the season of the heart, a special time of caring, the ways of love made clear.
It is the season of the spirit, the message, if we hear it, is make it last all year.
It’s in the giving of a gift to another, a pair of mittens that were made by your mother.
It’s all the ways that we show love that feel like Christmas.
A part of childhood we’ll always remember, it is the summer of the soul in December.
Yes, when you do your best for love, it feels like Christmas.
“When you do your best for love, it feels like Christmas.” “The message, if we hear it, is make it last all year!” “The season of the heart, the ways of love made clear!” Gosh, I could basically quote any part of this because it is all right there. The Gospel according to the Ghost of Christmas Present (“Present” is not by accident, by the way). Dickens’ basic storyline is in the movie, but there is also a beautiful tale about the love we lose in life, and the love we find when we are open to sharing with others. I am sure that each one of us can reflect on what we have lost, even outside of 2020. Today is the time to reflect upon the love we have found because tomorrow morning, the way of love is made clear, and the message, if we hear it, is make it last all year.
Merry Christmas, and God bless us, every one!