Happy Endings

A Message from Rev. Maya Landell

I love a happy ending, and I confess to you that at this time of year I have made time to watch a few of those Hallmark Christmas movies that don’t disappoint. But of course, the characters aren’t happy throughout the entire movie. No conflict? No story.

Each relationship has to struggle to get their happy ending as we follow the arc of the story.

My mentor Rev. Margaret Marcuson writes: “Jesus’ story has its own arc: he was born, as we celebrate this month, he lived out his ministry, he suffered and died, and experienced the Resurrection. We hear the story again and again, and we don’t get tired of it.”

The gospel story speaks to us in the middle of our challenging lives and in the challenging world we live in. Jesus’ story from his birth through the cross and the grave and to the resurrection speaks to our struggles as individuals, in our communities and in our world. We need to hear the story in the middle of everything we are up against.

We are all in the midst of some struggle right now: in life, in health, in relationships, in finances, in work, in church, in leadership. This in between of the Christmas season brings an invitation to good news, an invitation to the gospel.

The gospel is not magic. There’s not a guaranteed happy ending in the short term. We’re all taking time this month to celebrate the birth of Jesus. But that’s only the beginning of the story. The Christian faith is all about life coming out of the loss, of hope out of death, beginnings out of endings, and of the invitation to go home by another way. I can’t think of a better way to pray into a new decade together.

See you at worship, one service only at 10:30 am on December 29 in the sanctuary. We are grateful to Barbara Brown Taylor who has given us permission to use her story in worship. I can’t wait. Remember, we are only on the third day of the 12 days of Christmas.

Merry Christmas,
Rev. Maya