Christmas Day makes me think.
We are busy. We pick up 80 odd people (in more ways than none!) from our community. The house bound; the lonely; the elderly; the unacceptable; the unaccepted - those for whom Christmas day is a marginalising event, a lonely chore.
We have a carol service then spend the morning together enjoying each others company, drink coffee eat mince pies. Then we have a Christmas dinner, turkey and the trimmings; crackers, hats, pudding the lot. A large extended family doing family things. We sing, laugh and share together. Then we share gifts. At the end of the day we take 80 odd people home again. With a bag of goodies to get them through the next couple of days.
Every year there is something. One year there was Ray, despite his abuse and aggression we welcomed him and gave him a gift. One year there was Anthony, Danny and their dog. The dog ran us ragged. Less than 6 months later Anthony was dead and Danny convicted of murder. One year there was Elsie who got locked out with her dog left inside Working with the council, the fire brigade, the police and the RSPCA we spent the day trying to get her back in. One year I spent all day with Mr Humpries who was so depressed. So much for any counselling skills I may have – a couple of days later he tried to take his life and still remains in hospital. Then there was the year I took Mr Cohen home – when he got out the car he burst into tears and thank us for getting him through his first Christmas without Mrs Cohen. Then there is Debbie and Tommy. Tommy with multiple stab wound scars over his back has just got out of prison for setting Debbie on fire with cigarette lighter fuel.
Christmas Day makes me think – where do these people fit into our churches institutional or emergent? Where do these people fit into our designer churches for designer people?
I wonder what is going to happen today!