We were late for church this morning because we didn’t read the bulletin last week. Had we paid attention, we would have arrived at 9:30 instead of 10 AM. We also would have remembered that there was no Sunday school for the little girls. At any rate, we squeezed into the only available pew: the very first pew directly in front of our pastor. Our pastor has a good sense of humor, and he laughed as he saw us slinking conspicuously into our seats. Within the next 10 minutes, the entire pew was full with two more families who were also oblivious to the schedule change.
It turns out that our pastor had this Sunday off from preaching. Instead of a Christmas sermon, we were treated to a lesson on Jonah. The girls were delighted–and actually paying attention–as the twenty-something guest speaker used emoticons in his sermon notes and several church members took part in an unexpected reenactment of Jonah’s journeys away from and to Ninevah.
But the reason I am writing was because of the moment where I looked down the pew and saw our entire family holding tiny plastic communion thimbles filled with grape juice. The girls were listening and paying attention; only one of them was slightly fidgeting; and no one was whining. Instead they were being reverent and participating.
This was one of those moments that moms capture in their hearts, and I knew it was special. This was our family together sharing a moment of faith. This was what Christmas is all about: Christ came to this earth as a human babe so that He could become our atonement. And 2000 years later my little family was sitting in a pew just three days after Jesus’s birthday celebrating his death and resurrection.
Merry Christmas to me.