Notes from Jan

Come and Stay Christmas

December 26, 2016

Christmas Morning.

Grabbed the Sunday Globe off the porch, surprised and pleased at how thin. Few inserts, hawking wares on this  quiet day.

Even the ocean stilled.

Few cars on the road as I drove to church.

Parking lots empty of all but a few wayward shopping carts.

All is calm.

The Christmas Eve pageant’s come and gone for another year.   As a storyteller, it’s one of my favorite services.

Last week, thanks to technology, I saw the nativity reenacted in a small village in Romania.  The angel Gabriel looking ecstatic, arms flapping as he brought Good News.  One of the wise men, a teen age girl with brightly painted nails and Down’s syndrome, smiling, clutching her fancy jar, not realizing she was God’s treasure.

God must love watching The story retold ’round the world.

For sure, God Loves.

There’s a Christmas gift for all of us, tucked into the story of the woman at the well in John 4 in the New Testament.

She, no name recorded other than  Samaritan woman, meets the baby from the manger, all grown-up.

She, married five times, living with another man,  heads to the well to draw water.

Duty calls.

Or was it this man sitting by the well, who called her by name?

She, dying of  thirst, receives the Living Water Christ offers and Christmas comes in a gulp to a well-worn woman.

We all have wells…places we’d rather not revisit.  Places of shame, blame, fear, dread, confusion.

Thirsty for more in life, we wait and hope.

Good News; God’s Christmas isn’t staked to a date.

Christmas is God coming to us in our bleakest midwinters, bringing new names, fresh starts wrapped in Grace.

The Blessing of Bethlehem waits at our wells.

“Let us now go even unto Bethlehem…”











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  • Reply Marianne Cannon December 26, 2016 at 4:33 pm

    As I wait on the phone for the Apple technician to take me off hold and tell me the news of how/if he can tell me what is wrong with my “dead” cell phone, I ease my angst by reading your Christmas morning blog. I let my mind drift over the “still ocean” and the “empty parking lots” and I can feel my body relax a bit and my heartbeat quiet a bit.

    No, the kind Apple techie assures me that there is nothing available to fix my ailing phone until Friday, Dec. 30th, which is the earliest available appointment the store at the mall can offer me.

    Yes, I agree that the Peace and Hope God offers on Christmas morning is not a date. For me, today, it feels like the Presence of Jesus in my soul as I sit in my kitchen holding a lifeless phone in my hand on an ordinary Monday morning.

  • Reply Radina Welton December 26, 2016 at 7:16 pm

    Yes, I’ll go with you to Bethlehem, Jan! Beautiful piece of writing. Had a lovely, sweet time with Dan, Lianne and the girls, Christmas Eve there in there Vermont home and Christmas Day here in ours. May you not be able to count all your blessings, so many they’ll be, in the new year. I continue to look forward to your postings whenever they appear. Thank you, and keep writing!

  • Reply Wendy lane December 27, 2016 at 10:46 pm

    How cool that you watched a nativity in Romania!
    So thankful for these precious reminders you give us Jan. ❤

  • Reply susan December 28, 2016 at 10:54 pm

    Your post sparked a beautiful memory for me. Bob and I were driving from Florence to Gubbio on our Italian Honeymoon before Christmas in 1991. We were a little lost but gained confidence from friendly Italians along the way. To pass the time we sang Christmas carols. Bob had never heard my favorite, “In the Bleak Mid-Winter”so I taught it to him. Now it’s one of his favorites and it always makes us think of that time together at the beginning of our marriage. Happy New Year, dear Jan!

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