Set the Mood
Listen to this song while you grab a warm drink, a blanket, or anything to help you feel cozy. Turn the lights down and turn on the candle you received or light a candle of your own.
Christmas Day is the Christian celebration of the birth of Jesus. The story goes, Jesus was born to a virgin named Mary who was engaged to a man named Joseph. Just before her due date they had to travel from their hometown to Bethlehem which means “house of bread”. The city was crowded and by the time they got there all the beds were taken so they were set up in the animal keep. That night Mary went into labor and gave birth to Jesus who an angel had told her would be God’s own messenger and savior of her people. Not long after the baby was born, laying in the feeding trough, a group of shepherds came looking for a newborn baby. They said angels had appeared to them in the fields and told them Emmanuel had been born that night. Emmanuel is Hebrew for “God with us”
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.
– Leonard Cohen
Where do you see light?
Where do you see darkness?
Close your eyes.
Breathe slowly and deeply as you listen.
What has been a bright spot for you in 2022?
What brought you sadness or unclarity this year?
Say a prayer of thanks for all this year has brought and taught you.
In Scandinavian countries they have a beautiful tradition of encouraging the kind treatment of birds at Christmas. They believe that if you spread birdseed outside your doorstep on Christmas morning, thus including the birds in the feasting that takes place inside your home, you will have good luck in the coming year.
This tradition has practical and symbolic origins. Swedes would put aside the last sheaves of grain from the harvest and hang out a bundle for the birds on Christmas (called a julkarve), hoping the birds would stay out of the barn where their harvest was stored. In Denmark and Norway farmers would give their animals extra food on Christmas Day. They would take their last sheaf of wheat brought in during the last harvest to use as decorations on the gates and outside doorways so that the birds might eat it. This older tradition, known as The Remembrance of Birds, was to honor the birds and beasts that were the witnesses to Christ’s birth.
Go or look outside, spread some birdseed, and then speak these words aloud:
Deep peace of running wave to you
Deep peace of flowing air to you
Deep peace of quiet earth to you
Deep peace of shining stars to you
Deep peace of the Source of peace to you
Join us next week for our new Sunday schedule!
For the months of January and February we will be meeting at the Binghamton University Nature Preserve for a Sunday Saunter every Sunday at Noon! We’ll meet at the gazebo just off of parking lot M and take a walkabout through the preserve.
In addition to the saunter we’ll have a time of worship together every Sunday on Zoom at 4pm. If you’d like the Zoom link for online worship just fill out this form and we’ll send it right over: https://forms.gle/2kaRpP3P7MQAubUd9