A litany of light on Christmas Eve

Tonight at Oak Hill, we had a service of lessons and carols. Then Alan, our parish associate, and I offered this litany to begin the candlelight sharing to end the service. When I got home and unpacked, got the kid tucked into bed, I read about things that happened in our city today- so much violence and too many shootings. One in my friend’s church parking lot. Then I saw images of riot police guarding the Basilica before midnight mass. I couldn’t bring myself to wrap my kid’s gifts. I didn’t want to celebrate Christmas. I wanted to stay in Advent. So I reread these words. Just to myself. A few times over. Because I need the reminder that the light indeed shines in the darkness. It won’t be overcome. And I will seek that light. I will bear witness to it, wherever I see it, even within the darkness. Jesus Christ is born today. Today. Hallelujah! Amen.

Candlelight Litany- OHPC Christmas Eve Worship 2014

Erin: The light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not overcome it.
(this verse repeated by each of the evening’s 9 readers, seated where they are throughout the sanctuary)
Erin: The light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not overcome it.
Alan: When darkness covered the face of the deep, God said “Let there be light”
Erin: And God said the light was good.
Alan: And the people who walked in the darkness, they could see the light. And the light shone upon them.
Erin: Then the light shone upon her. She could see the light. She watched it grow within her.
Alan: And she rejoiced.
Erin: That light, that night, the Word became flesh. And that child, born to be light for us all, to shine throughout the world and give us hope.
Alan: The light is here! Shout for joy!
Erin: Christ is born! Sing hallelujah!
Alan: Emmanuel, God with us.
Erin: This is night that the light is born for all of us. And the darkness, our darkness, has been overcome.
Alan: For God’s light has entered the world.
Erin: For God’s hope has entered the world.
Alan: For God’s love has entered the world.
Erin: Take now, this light, sent from the heavens, for you, and let it brighten your heart.
Alan: Then pass that light, and let it shine for another to see, share it for another to feel.
Alan: And let God’s light and love fill this place.
Erin: Let God’s light and love fill each of us.

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#GivingTuesday

I don’t do Black Friday or Cyber Monday, but I do like to find ways to contribute on Giving Tuesday. There are so many great organizations that depend on our support this time of the year. I’ve got my regulars, too (church, MS Society, Red Cross, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance), but this year I want to share a couple for your consideration because of the work they are doing right now in the STL/Ferguson communities:

www.amenstlouis.org – The mission arm of our church, where we welcome volunteers and mission teams to serve in our city. We’ve also been housing legal observers and activists throughout the past couple months.
www.towergrovechurch.org – A neighbor congregation that served as a safe sanctuary for all during the grand jury announcement and had their windows broken out during the night while they were feeding and welcoming others!
www.marianmiddleschool.org – “Educating girls for life.” And in my opinion, showing girls in STL options and exciting opportunities.
www.stl.unitedway.org – Supports local non-profits and provides financial assistance to people directly impacted by actions in Ferguson.