Following this past week's mission trip, I had today off. So I worshiped at All Saints Lutheran Church in Cincinnati's Eastgate area, where my colleague, Jim Dinkel, is pastor.
It turned out to be a fun and meaningful experience as Jim led a Christmas in June service. Jim says that we focus on the meaning of Easter every Sunday, when we always celebrate Jesus' resurrection. But in the midst of what he calls the Hallowgivemas "holiday" that begins in about September when Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas decorations mingle insensibly in stores and on homes, we tend to ignore the true significance of Christmas, when God reached down and became one of us in the person of Jesus, all so He could rescue us from sin and death!
Jim is right, I think. The Christmas season is actually supposed to begin on December 25 and go to January 6. But each December 26, we hurry it away like so much discarded wrapping paper. (For more on the church year, see here.)
It was fun singing several Christmas songs during worship, although I did feel a little silly whistling them when I headed to Chipotle for lunch.
It's good for a pastor to occasionally worship with someone else leading and to listen to someone else's preaching...even I get tired of the sound of my own voice!