The peace and joy for which the world celebrates and desires.
In thinking about what I to write, I reflected on the first Christmas as told in the gospel.
Not the part where Mary and Joseph frantically search for a birthing place. Not the unspoken part where Mary gives birth. Surely not the sounds and smells of the nearby animals.
I think of what most parents would see as important: a content infant drowsily falling to sleep in the arms of an exhausted mother. It is from this scene the unlikely mix of peace and joy begins to emerge.
Looking up I see the nativity set on my piano. Although simple it is deluxe compared to the original site where the Holy Family settled that Christmas night.
Then I picture what many of you are seeing as you read this: St. Mary’s church. There are lighted trees and wreaths with ribbons. Amenities that were unimaginable on that first Christmas: an organ, baby grand piano and sound system. (I better not forget to mention the new elevator because if I do, Fr. Rich will have me hand-write it into every bulletin. :)
I imagine the generations of families who have gathered here throughout the years. They are alongside individuals who have come to see St. Mary’s as their family. I see myself and others who have been blessed to share our ministry here with you.
I pause to think of those who are not with us. There are those who no longer make church part of their holiday tradition. There are those who have died. I pause to honor their memories.
And……There is you.
Whatever brought you here, whatever you were doing right before you came, whatever you will do when you leave church I wish you the peace and joy for which you celebrate and desire.
Blessed to be in ministry at St. Mary’s,
Bruce Mauro, Director of Music St. Mary’s Church