During the service we sing a variety of Christmas carols as the congregation chooses them. This is refreshing singing time for the congregation.
The pastor reads two Ann Weems’ poems. I am struck by her sense of the practical and the holy. The reading of her poems triggers me to order her book, Kneeling in Bethlehem from Amazon. Amazing how one thing leads to another. Here is one of the poems:
Christmas Trees and Strawberry Summers by Ann Weems
What I’d really like is a life of Christmas trees and strawberry summers.
A walk through the zoo with a pocketful of bubble gum and a string of balloons.
I’d say “yes” to blueberry mornings and carefree days with rainbow endings
I’d keep the world in springtime and the morning glories blooming.
But life is more than birthday parties;
Life is more than candied apples.
I’d rather hear the singing than the weeping.
I’d rather see the healing than the violence.
I’d rather feel the pleasure than the pain.
I’d rather know security than fear.
I’d like to keep the cotton candy coming.
But life is more than the fingers crossed;
Life is more than wishing.
Christ said, “Follow me.”
And of course, I’d rather not.
I’d rather pretend that doesn’t include me.
I’d rather sit by the fire and make my excuses.
I’d rather look the other way,
Not answer the phone,
And be much too busy to read the newspaper,
But I said YES and
That means risk–
It means here I am ready or not!