Happy New Year! I hope you are ringing in the new year in a safe, warm and joyous way. A gentle reminder that there are no Sunday Services tomorrow, January 1st. Both the online and in person services will resume on January 8that their regular time of 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. respectively. On the 8th SPSP will be saying farewell to our deacon The Reverend SuSan Gurd-Jensen. Rev. SuSan is continuing in her ministerial calling and taking a new path in 2023, trusting in God’s leading. In the service on the 8th, tributes will be given, Rev. SuSan will speak briefly and afterwards we will celebrate with sandwiches and cake. It would be wonderful if you can join us and stay for the light luncheon.
In view of missing Sunday on Jan 1st, I offer a poem I wrote two years ago. It is an adaptation from the famous Clement Moore poem ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas as I considered how to take Christmas into the world. What happens after the day of feasting and presents? - which led to the name of ‘Twas the Day After Christmas. In case you missed it – here it is again. See you in the new year. Please note I am working from home and so am available if you need me.
In the service of Christ,
Adapted by The Reverend Gail Rodger from the poem ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas by Clement Moore (public domain)
'Twas the day after Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were down, the chimney was bare,
St. Nicholas gone, like a wisp in the air;
Everyone glued to the new video game
Till the youngest, she asked, who was it that came?
And all on the couch, they quick turned their head,
They looked at the girl with a feeling of dread,
They dropped the controllers with a lot of loud clatter,
They sprang from the couch to see what was the matter.
Right to the window they flew like a flash,
She pointed outside and threw up the sash.
They noticed the sunshine, the trees and the snow
Gave unspeakable beauty to objects below,
When, what to their wondering eyes should appear,
But a neighbour in need, and they began to feel fear,
With a little old neighbour, once lively and quick,
Bent over a little, for a cane, used a stick.
More rapid than eagles they began with twist,
They whistled, and shouted, and started a list;
"Now, shelter! now, clothing! now, water and food!
On, kindness! on goodness! and joy was their mood!
Get off of the porch! Look over the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So out into the world with new eyes they all flew,
With minds on good deeds, thinking they knew.
And then, in a twinkling, they heard in their heart
That giving was really, only one part.
As they folded their hands and were turning around,
A babe in a manger, God incarnate was found.
In swaddling clothes, from his head to his feet,
Angels and shepherds that night came to greet;
A bundle of love he had flung on his back,
More precious than toys ever found in a sack.
His eyes -- how they twinkled! And shared sorrow as well!
There is no description so we can’t really tell!
But we know he came down to earth for us all,
God as a baby, in a box, in a stall;
He taught and we listened to hear the wisdom of God,
For the whole earth renewed, expansive and broad
No classes or races or tribal division
A world full of caring, yes that was the vision.
Listening, forgiving and keeping love near
means sharing with others without guilt or fear
With his hands filled with healing for young and for old,
Soon gave us to know, a new story is told.
He came as an infant, but grew into his work,
And showed the world love; giving more than he took,
And laying his arms on the bars of the cross,
He died and was raised, redeeming all loss.
She asked once again who was it that came?
The night of the stockings, the feasting, the game?
Jesus they said, with a smile big and bright,
Love eternal came down on that first Christmas night!
Photo by Alena Darmel: https://www.pexels.com/photo/a-family-looking-out-the-window-7642097/