And just like that…Christmas is well underway. All the anticipation, all the planning, all the cleaning and decorating and inviting led to a very busy, very inspiring weekend which included the first of many wonderful Christmas celebrations. Thank You, Lord!
The kickoff was Christmas at the Cathedral with Claire, me, Dick, Jean, and Karla joining 3-400 hundred other people at St. Cecilia’s Cathedral to listen to the orchestra and chorus perform a very lovely music program. And then the following day was packed with Yuletide fellowship, first with prayers and Christmas carols with a handful of pro-life friends in the bitter cold outside the Planned Parenthood abortion business. And, after a quick cup of coffee at the regular debriefing at John and Barb’s, Claire and I headed home to prepare for our first (of many) at-home Christmas party, a British-themed Ploughman’s Lunch with a bountiful meat and cheese platter, Scotch eggs, mince pies, Eton Mess, and more. We were honored to have Jim, Jean, Deb, Lee, Therese, and Billy as our guests, and we enjoyed delightful, meaningful conversations as well as an interesting and delicious meal.
And then it was cleaning up after, recording the latest sermon summary from our Aksarben Village church service, and then getting everything ready for our second Christmas party of the day – an evening meal (British-themed still) with 4 guests: Dave, Rosemary, Rick, and Kathy. Here too we were so blessed with the engaging, sharpening fellowship of good friends.
But the Christmassy weekend wasn’t over yet. For after church, we got everything prepared for the Aksarben Village Sunday afternoon service. Being the first Sunday of the month, that meant adding communion to the regular mix of 3 music videos, a brief sermon, prayers, and visiting over coffee and lemonade and cookies afterward. We had a terrific time and it was very beautifully colored with Christmas. The song videos were Andy Williams doing “O Holy Night,” a lively group of kids doing “O Come, All Ye Faithful,” and Keith and Kristyn Getty and company doing a very festive version of “Joy to the World.” The sermon centered on one of the unsung heroes of the Christmas accounts, Joseph. I titled it “So Joseph Got Up!” and the short summary of that message will be uploaded in a day or two on the Vital Signs Ministries YouTube channel and Vital Signs Blog. And then even the treats were Christmassy delights as Don, Keith, Carol, Allen and Claire and I distributed an assortment of very pretty, delicious cookies that Carol made for the occasion.
But this first weekend of the Christmas season still wasn’t quite over yet because Claire and I had already packed the car for a two-day trip to Wichita, Kansas where we were planning to visit my sister Sherry in the nursing facility where she is now living. Indeed, we’re presenting the Christmas “When Swing Was King” show at her place (and the one next to it) in those days. So…quite a jam-packed schedule for this first Christmas season but we are so honored and grateful to God to bless us with these opportunities.