Sunday, December 27, 2009

Advent #20: Christmas Services

My mother was raised Catholic; my father Presbyterian. By the time I was born, both were non-practicing and had been for years. So when my brother and I got to the ages of having sleepovers with our friends, they let us decide if we wanted to go to church with our friends or just come home. Usually, we went to church as it allowed us to spend more time with our friends, and then after our parents divorced and Dad re-married, it allowed us to spend less time at home with our evil stepmother.

Even though we lived in a very small town, there were several churches. I attended most of them at least once with my various friends; the only exception, ironically was Presbyterian. It was one of the larger churches in town, but one none of my friends attended. I started to go to the Lutheran church pretty regularly with a friend and was even in the process of going through the Confirmation classes, which I didn't finish as I realized it meant I would be baptized Lutheran and by that point I had discovered the Methodist church, which I liked better. I would have been baptized Methodist had we not moved to Idaho when we did.

I don't remember ever going to Christmas services at the Lutheran church, but I attended several at the Methodist church. They were always such beautiful services and I loved how the sanctuary looked at the end of the service when everyone held up their candles. I started going to the Methodist church about the time I was in the 6th grade so I was never a part of the Christmas service, but my brother was in it a couple of times.

I have not been to a Christmas Eve service in years. I was going to church regularly when we lived in Arizona, but felt guilty about it as I was living in sin. I went a few times when we moved back, but the guilt got to me and I decided to stop going until after the wedding, which of course never happened. I have no excuse now especially since my anger at God for taking James has greatly subsided.

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