The Joyful Comedy Hour

Candlelight service.
I know I wrote a lovely, nearly sappy summation of what I love so much about such things last year (read it here).
Sometimes they can feel that way, be that way - it really depends on the person responsible for putting the program together.

This year, sappy is not the word I would use to describe what happened.
I would have to use a phrase - specifically "The Joyful Comedy Hour."

The order of the program was no different than the order of the program from last year.
I know.
I was the one to hear our pastor's extra-exuberant "All right!" from over my shoulder as I pulled up last year's slides.

And the joy in those two words, "All right," made its way through the rest of the night.
The pace was relaxed, and laughter was never far from anyone's lips.
Which was a good thing, because when we readers failed to inspire laughter over mishaps adjusting (or readjusting) the microphone stand or word pronunciation, our audience kindly jumped in with a few cracks of their own.

Yup. They let me read. No good can possibly come of this.

I did not walk out of the sanctuary last night thinking the service was beautiful, and I know it was not the most reverent rendition of the Christmas stories out of Matthew and Luke I have ever encountered.
But I believe God took great delight in our joy and laughter and fellowship as we went back to the story of how our rescue began.
He met us where we were at, and the magic of His presence did the rest.

So, I did walk out last night with far less weight on my shoulders, and an ease of spirit I haven't felt in a while.
Life has been heavy these last fifteen months, and while I've mostly adjusted to the load, it was a relief to leave with less to carry.
His yoke is easy, and his burden is light, remember?
I feel lighter.

This year, as we draw closer to the end of another season and look to the next one, I hope you find the time to be still, take stock, and make room for your heart to prepare for next year.
Also, here are my prayers for you.
Yes, some of them are the same as last year, but I promise I'm not cheating.
They really are my prayers for you.

I pray for blessings upon blessings to be heaped upon you.
I pray you find joy in the best and worst of moments.
I pray for good health for you and those you love.
I pray for wisdom for you in all decisions you make in 2016 - large, small, and in between.
I pray for the strength to rise and move forward if something comes along that knocks you down or off your path.
And I pray that love, grace, and thankfulness would abound in your hearts and the hearts of those around you.

Until next time,