Before I went on internship, I bought this knitted nativity scene at a garage sale. I bought it by accident: I was interested in purchasing the garbage can in which the the Holy Family and their seasonal entourage sat. No, I didn’t know they were in the garbage can. Baby Jesus and all the other creche critters had been tossed into a grocery bag that the seller was using to hold accumulated trash from the day. The can held it all together. (PLEASE CONTINUE READING BY PRESSING at the bottom>>)
When I picked up the garbage can and saw what was inside the bag, I asked, “Are you selling these too,” thinking they hadn’t been unpacked. They must belong on one of the tables somewhere? The sight of baby Jesus under cigarette wrappers and an apple core broke my heart.
The seller shrugged. “You can have ’em. They’re just junk.”
Just junk. The seller all those years ago isn’t alone with those thoughts.
Secular Christmas jettisons Jesus in favour of Santa Claus: both bring gifts, but only one brings gifts that fuel the retail economy to the point of consumer debt each year.
Secular Christmas re-brands the Holy Spirit calling it : The Spirit of Christmas. It’s the Spirit of Christmas that causes people to buy inflatables for the front lawn: it’s the Holy Spirit that fills hearts and can even change them.
Secular Christmas throws out God in favour of goodwill to all—calling them one in the same.
Having worked retail for 7 years, I get all of that. But even stuff that was thrown in the clearance bin on Boxing Day was never called junk–it could NEVER be thrown away–it had a cost. Even if it didn’t sell, it was valuable to someone–even if it had to be bought back by the sellers.
Who would throw away a nativity scene like it was garbage?
Someone who doesn’t know its significance.
Someone who doesn’t appreciate its value.
Someone who dosent’t know the story it tells.
This Advent Season, rediscover a story that isn’t junk. Dig it out of the trash, clean it up and make it the centre of your holiday. Share it with your family, with your friends and with your neighbours–your children, grand-children and your great-grandchildren. And if you don’t know where to begin in that kind of sharing or aren’t sure of the story yourself then come to Unity United Church for any one or ALL of these services:
Sunday, December 15th @ 10:00am: “Peace &White Gift Sunday”
Please bring non-perishable food items or cash donations for the food bank in Victoria Harbour–your donations will be wrapped in white when you arrive.
Sunday December 22nd @ 10:00: “Love Sunday”
Communion will be served. It is God’s table, not our table and ALL are welcome to the feast.
Sunday December 22 @2pm: “King Place Service”
Once a month, Unity provides a worship and communion service to the residents of King Place. You don’t have to be a resident to attend the service; simply come to 750 King Street in Midland, Ontario and enjoy the faithful community of the resident worshippers.
Tuesday, December 24 @ 7:30pm: “The Christmas Eve Service”
Join us for video clips, readings, music and candle-light. This is -by far- the most popular and populous service of the year. If you want to get a seat, you and your family are urged to come as early as you can. Standing room is available at the back of the church.
Wednesday, December 25 @ 10:00 “Christmas Morning Service”
A relaxed, low tech service of lessons, carols and reflection. Refreshments will be served at the back of the church as we all sing Happy Birthday to Jesus.
Our church will be closed on Sunday, December 29th. We will look forward to seeing you and your family again on Sunday, January 5th, 2014!
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