Last week I was at a women’s Christmas tea. The ambiance was lovely~dim lighting, white Christmas trees, soft decor. The tables were clustered and seating was arranged prior so that your host~the one who invited you~ was with you and all of her other invitees.
The theme of the evening was Peace. Peace at a time of year when many don’t have it, can’t feel it, don’t understand it.
I don’t always feel comfortable in these settings. Yes, I grew up in an organized church. Yes, I’ve even organized functions like this. But sitting in this place, this year, after all that we’ve been through~~ I felt awkward. And then the speaker for the evening got up to share. This is the part I was waiting for. I love to hear peoples’ stories. When someone has struggled and has overcome or is in the process of overcoming….these are the stories I want to hear. My soul longs for the connection between what I know and what I see. As she began her talk, I leaned in. And then, I was disappointed. I had heard it all before. The story of Mary , Joseph and the shepherds. I thought perhaps she would move into 2012 and our desire for peace. I was waiting for the hook. You know, the part where the whole story gets turned upside down and we can all relate.
But that never happened. The story was read straight from scripture.
Let me interject here and say that I love the Christmas story. I love to hear how Mary was afraid and fled to Elizabeth’s house. I love that Joseph was wary and concerned. I love that these ARE real people and their story is supernaturally linked to mine. But none of that was said. Scriptures were read and then she was done.
This entire agenda for the evening~Peace~ was a huge let down.
Now, while you may be chastising and shaking your finger at me for not embracing what it was, I did. I enjoyed the evening for what it was but I was disappointed for what it could have been.
I don’t want to hear the retelling of an age-old story. I want to hear how THAT STORY has changed YOU. I want to hear your stories. Because, at this time of year, more than any other, we all want that Peace. We want HOPE. We want to know that everything we’re doing isn’t paying lip service to an historical event but rather a living, tangible Person who came in the form of a Baby to be with us in all things and through all things.