The readings this morning were
FCS-Ian said that he's struck by the image of the little baby in the Isaiah passage, in contrast to all the stuff about warriors, garments drenched in blood and all that. I said, "but the garments drenched in blood will be fuel for the fire -- war is over
Ian, his dad, Tim D., and I, went to breakfast at The Broken Yolk.
I had almost nothing to do at work, so I caught up on YouTube embeds on "when loves come to town" blog. One was U2 doing "I Believe in Father Christmas." [blogpost, YouTube, lyrics]
One line is "Hallelujah Noel, be it Heaven or Hell, the Christmas
we deserve." I expected the song to go on and undermine that line, but it turns out to be the last line.
I, of course, have problems with that. There are people who are grieving, and the deaths of their loved ones are not their fault, and grief isn't something you can just turn off at will.
In her Reflection last night, Laura Ruth talked about how one thing that helps her in the Christmas season is the reminder that we do this every year -- that she doesn't have to wholly "get it right" this time.
As I was nearing my house around ten past two this afternoon, birds were twittering and stuff was melted and it felt rather like spring (weather.com said 37F *shrug*), which felt somewhat fitting. (It got cold
once the sun had set, though.)
On the Senate passing the health care bill, Megan McArdle
I'm not sure how much more point there is in talking about it until the legislative particulars emerge from the final bill. At this point, pretty much everyone is exhausted--the politicians, the CBO analysts, and the journalists who cover it. I assume y'all are too.
So go have a merry Christmas. Whatever you think of this bill, things will still be better than they ever have been in all of human history whether or not it passes. So go out and sample some peace on earth and goodwill to men for a few days. After the holiday, we can all get back to shouting at each other.
I was unimpressed by CHPC's Christmas Eve service. I did like that in the Prayer, Karl said, "In this season of excess, we remember all who are empty." And I also liked the Affirmation of Faith:
I believe in Jesus Christ and in the beauty of the gospel begun in Bethlehem.
I believe in the one whose spirit glorified a little town; and whose spirit still brings music to persons all over the world in towns large and small.
I believe in the one for whom the crowded inn could find no room, and I confess that my heart still sometimes wants to exclude Christ and others from my life today.
I believe in the one who the rulers of the earth ignored and the proud could never understand; whose life was among the common people, whose welcome came from persons of hungry hearts.
I believe in the one who proclaimed the love of God to be invincible.
I believe in the one whose cradle was a mother's arms and who by love brought sinners back to life, and lifted human weakness up to meet the strength of God.
I confess our ever-lasting need of God, the need of new life for empty souls, the need of love for hearts grown cold.
I believe in Jesus, the beloved child of the living God, born in Bethlehem this night, for me and for the world.
(Walter Russell Bowie, adapted)
[NGL, I almost got choked up at that last bit.]
UCN's Christmas Eve service was, basically, the same one it is every year (see tag/previous year's entries). CHPC uses The New Century Hymnal
(to Karl's disgruntlement) and tonight I kept feeling really thrown by the slightly changed lyrics (and it's not all gender -- "O Little Town of Bethlehem" has "No one discerns God's coming..." instead of the ableist "No ear may hear His coming...") because I was instinctively singing the traditional words, even all the "O come let us adore Him," without even registering them as male-default/hierarchical; but then I was at UCN (whose hymnal has all the traditional words) and noticed all the male etc. language and wasn't pleased about singing the traditional versions.
CHPC didn't dim the sanctuary at all, and UCN was
dim but then we raised the lights on the front part so Pastor Bill could read everything (he's in a wheelchair, so he was down at the Communion table rather than up in a pulpit which would have its own light) and didn't ever dim them again. Lessens the effect of the candlelit "Silent Night" a bit. Sigh.
Scott emailed me tonight, Subject: "MC, QED! <eom>"