- How often do we in the church continue to do things because we've always done them, and not evaluate whether they still work in today's context? This tree was a perfect example.
- Are we, who are close to the church, able to "see" what an outsider might see? Or are we blind to the unspoken messages and signals that we send? We might be blind to the way our buildings and worship space look to the outside world, blind to how our practices might be intimidating, or unaware of how we might speak in our own form of Anglican tongue that a visitor might not understand (ex: "Oh, you're visiting us today with your four children? Well when Don, the head usher gets here, you'll find him in the Narthex. He can tell you where the kids will go for Sunday school, but they stay with their parents until after the collect for purity and then leave for their classes, following the crucifer...They'll rejoin you after the Great Amen so keep an eye out for them." This really happened to our family! While I did understand, mostly, I couldn't imagine what I would have thought had it been my first visit to an Episcopal Church.)
- How do our actions show our priorities and values? When I saw those chained trees, I asked myself, if someone was so desperate that they chose to steal a very small, ugly Christmas tree, would that be such a great loss to the church?
A rant and a rave from this priest, but it comes with the heartfelt prayer that all who strive to be followers of Jesus Christ will make the true message of his love and light known this Christmas and always...S.