This has been a very unusual week for me.
It has not been unusual because it is Christmas but because my thoughts have also included the “storm of the quarter century” (according to the NWS). The weather experts are talking about 12 to 18 inches of snow for us with 20 inches plus not out of the question. But to make matters worse we are getting freezing drizzle right now with a possible 1/4 inch of ice before the snow hits. And then…as to rub salt in the wound…the wind picks up later in the week. This will be a Christmas to remember in more ways than one.
Now I am left to contemplate how to do Christmas. My family has already moved our Christmas celebration to New Year’s Eve and I am not sure yet about my wife’s side. Christmas Eve worship at Salem will be on (since we are in town and I live next door) but Christmas Day out at Belmont might not happen (we might move it to Saturday or Sunday). I normally get really excited about storms like this; waiting anxiously for it to arrive, but this one is going to be a little annoying. I feel conflicted…worried…concerned a little…but…
It WILL happen!!!
What WILL happen? The birth of Jesus will be celebrated…and no winter storm can stop that.
I am sure that Mary and Joseph didn’t plan to celebrate the birth of their son in a barn.
I am sure that the shepherds didn’t plan to leave their flocks to search for a baby that night.
I am sure the magi didn’t plan on making a long, long journey; following a star to find a baby.
But in the end…I bet all these people would say that they had the best day of their lives…celebrating the birth of Jesus in their own way. Plans were made and plans were changed but worship still happened.
I am not sure what will happen here, but worship will happen, whether I am sitting in the sanctuary of Salem or Belmont Lutheran Church or whether I am sitting in the sanctuary of my own home…worship WILL happen; the birth of Jesus WILL be celebrated.
If you are in the path of this storm: (1) Be careful and be safe and (2) Don’t let the weather dampen your worship and celebration of Jesus birth…no matter if your plans have been changed or not. Christmas is about God’s love for you and for me and as we hear from the Apostle Paul there is nothing in all of creation that can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord…not even the “storm of the quarter century“.
Have a safe and Merry Christmas!