Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Eve

Tomorrow at 11 pm we will hold our Christmas Eve "midnight" service of lessons and carols and communion in A Third Place Community Center, 6514 N. Peoria Ave. A time of peace and hope, a celebration of what is being born of the divine within us, among us, and beyond us. A time to remember the night 2000 years ago when a small group gathered together under a star that shined where no stars had shined before; in a cave with stray animals coming in and out to eat, a bit of shelter where there were no inns, where a few shepherds were drawn by the gossip and by the message that here was something wonderful happening, something hard to describe, something that hadn't happened before, a hint, a glimpse that the world was about to shift just a little, a ripple of kindness spreading, a thought beginning to grow, that the Almighty could be seen and felt in an out of the way place, off anyone's map, in the lives of an outcast couple that didn't resemble respectable couples, in the wondering eyes and the grasp of a baby's hand that could hold the universe, a small fragile palm that touch was to touch Ultimate Love.

Tomorrow at 11 pm we will begin moving toward the turning at midnight of Christmas, with open doors for whomever may need a place to come and sit and light a candle on this Silent Night. Almost everything around us will be closed, except a convenience store and gas station, signs of the Empire, and perhaps a few miles away a bar on Lewis Ave. Both the station and the bar will undoubtedly have more people at midnight than we will have inside our community center in Turley. Our spirit will be with those gathered in the bar, who come to the station on their late hour drives to their other places to be, and with all those who are gathering with families, tucking in children one more time again, getting ready for the late nights wherever they are, and with those finding a place in the abandoned cars, the shelters, the jailed, the hospitals, and with those who care for them on this night as with other nights, our thoughts will be with them and with you. And for those few who are able to come to be with us in Turley at 11 pm counting down the minutes to Christmas with silence, and song, and the old old story, and the passing of bread and juice, Presence Enough, we will seek to make visible in our world now that night so long ago, when something happened that no one else but a few saw....a light in the darkness, a few souls together, an open hole in the cave to strangers, a new life.

Wherever you are tomorrow and on the day after that, know that you have a candle lit for you here, that you may take the story into your heart this season, that you are a blessing to one another and to the world, so be full of life in all its abundance and diversity of spirit that has already been given to you, for unto you this day was born a child to remind us that all are children of God, and go in peace into the places of your life and think of A Third Place, go into the places of your life and be in peace, in prayer, in passion.

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