The Norman Transcript

Religion

December 20, 2013

Season is filled with surprises

(Continued)

NORMAN —

It’s true that Christmas Eve is super-busy for my family, but my family wouldn’t have it any other way. They want to be a part of things here at St. Stephen’s all afternoon and evening, or else they would really feel like they were missing something.

I’m very fortunate to have family who is willing to help take up the offering, play the piano, put on a costume, sing in a choir or run over and turn off the lights when we sing “Silent Night” if someone forgets to do it.

So, on Christmas Day, the smoky cheese and summer sausage find their way onto crackers as we open gifts as lazily as we choose and eventually watch a movie or two. Christmas Day is not about perfection, whatsoever. Frankly, neither is Christmas Eve.

You never know what the weather is going to do, who will show up at church or who might get invited over for dinner in between services. That actually happened one time, and the poor person had to eat warmed-over pizza and some semi-hard croissants because that’s all I had in the fridge.

I didn’t know another Venable had invited him to come to my house, but it was really fun. I think we found enough candy to round out the meal.

You never know what will go wrong, but you also never know what will go right. Last Christmas Eve, a mysterious man walked into the church and handed me a check for $5,000 and told me the church could spend it any way we chose. That same night, a person who had been in ICU for more than a month felt well enough to come to the 7 p.m. service.

And when a wise man was called into work duty at the last minute, a doting grandfather jumped into a costume at 4:54 p.m. and rounded out our 5 p.m. nativity scene.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Religion
  • Hnsen Luger Kate Hansen still riding the Olympic cloud

    Not many people can say they actually accomplished their lifetime dreams. Even less can say they did it before turning 22....

    March 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tests of a living faith

    We recently started a study on Wednesday nights of the letter James wrote to the church. This Bible book is a practical guide to Christian living, but more than that, it really forces one to think honestly about their faith. Is your faith ...

    July 24, 2014

  • Which Bible bit is most misinterpreted?

    The Rev. Scott Gordon, Claycomo Baptist Church: Many passages vie for consideration, but the first “bit” that came to mind we find in Matthew 7:1-6 and Romans 2:1-5....

    July 24, 2014

  • CAIR-OK plans day of service

    The Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-OK) will join Mercy Youth Club and IST Youth at the fourth annual Ramadan Day of Service Saturday....

    July 18, 2014

  • Guest preacher and author to speak

    The Reverend Dr. James White will preach, as well as discuss, his new book, “Brief Christian Histories: Getting a Sense of Our Long Story,” this Sunday at First Christian Church, 220 S. Webster. White will preach at both 8:40 and 10:45 ...

    July 18, 2014

  • Life on earth is a vapor

    The last of the baby boomers turn 50 this year. This generation of Americans, born from 1946-1964, is named after the post-World War II “baby boom.” I am a baby boomer and as one of the “late boomers,” one of the last to turn 50 — ...

    July 17, 2014

  • What does a bird ‘alone on a housetop’ mean

    Reassurance of God’s mercy The Rev. Betty Hanna-Witherspoon, Ebenezer A.M.E. Church: This verse, Psalm 102:7, has a notation in the New Living Translation, “A prayer of one overwhelmed with trouble, pouring out problems before the ...

    July 17, 2014

  • Hillsboro resident’s first CD will benefit Haiti missions

    When Angie Sawyer's son passed away at age 5 she tried several ways to deal with her grief. But none of them worked, she said, until she turned to God. So to tell her story, she recently recorded her first CD, “On The Right Track.” All ...

    July 10, 2014

  • Anti-bias order creates rift

    In the intensifying debate over religious liberty, President Barack Obama faces pressure from opposite flanks as he prepares to issue an executive order barring federal contractors from discriminating against gay and transgender people in ...

    July 10, 2014

  • Is anything really free?

    We have just celebrated the nation’s 238th birthday. We are extremely proud of and attached to freedom. The Founding Fathers wrote into the founding documents practical truths that make those freedoms attainable. I love the fact that they ...

    July 10, 2014