The tree is up. The stockings are hung, and we’ve downed a gallon of egg nog in the past couple weeks. But It doesn’t quite feel like Christmas yet. I know what’s missing. Church has always been an important part of my Christmas experience. I miss seeing my kiddos perform. I miss hearing the carols. I even miss hearing the same sermon over and over. I have not been to a Sunday morning service in nearly two years and I think it’s starting to take it’s toll.
This morning, I decided to re-read the Christmas story to see if it would lift my spirits. I read past the manger scene and ran into two characters who blessed my life. Simeon was a devout man. The Bible says he watched, waited, and prayed. He made his way to the temple, even though it wasn’t the prescribed day of worship. There was no special occasion. Simeon wasn’t going to meet with his friends, or here the choir sing. He was simply going to worship, and Jesus met him there.
Next, I met Anna, a widow and prophetess, who never left the temple. She, too, was worshipping on her own. She was offering prayers in private, as had been her habit, and in walked Joseph, Mary, and baby Jesus. And from that point in, that’s all Anna could talk about.
Sometimes, I miss sitting in the sanctuary. I miss hearing the choir, and I really do miss some of the people. But I am also incredibly grateful that I can worship from the sanctity of my sofa.
Thank you, Lord, for always showing up, whenever and wherever I choose to worship. You inhabit the praise of your people, in both public and private.