For 20 years, I hated Christmas. Or perhaps hate is too strong a word. It’s more accurate to say that Christmas was exhausting, and always I dreaded its arrival. As a pastor with four children I worked hard to have gifts bought and wrapped by the first Sunday in Advent because the month of December…
One morning this week, in the midst of the COVID-19 chaos, I woke at dawn. The night had been filled with anxious dreams and the endless rearranging of pillows under my head. I checked the clock and realized I’d barely managed four hours of sleep. I felt lousy. Once downstairs in the kitchen I sat down at my laptop. Like so many others, my office is closed and I am working from home. The few hours before anyone else is up are wonderfully quiet, and with a cup of tea I was ready to face my inbox.
I remember the moment vividly: I looked down and realized my phone was covered in flour. “That can’t be good,” I thought to myself. How else would I share this beautiful experience of baking bread? I need photos! Instagram! Snapchat!
Thanksgiving is such a wonderful time of celebration. We revel in God’s abundance with huge turkey dinners, trips to the apple orchard, and pretty pumpkin displays on neighbourhood porches. We give thanks because we have so much food and because we have so many friends and family. Except in my house. We are celebrating having less, not more.
My children have always been “church kids.” They are well-known and well-loved in the congregation. So imagine my surprise when my eldest daughter, who is now 19, said she feels like “youth in the church are just props.”
It’s time to break down those barriers, and not just to fill up the church pews with new converts. Both the church and the spiritually curious could learn from one another about matters of faith and practice, if the conversation could only get started.