Two parades in one week! Friday evening last I attended the evening Christmas parade in one city where I work and had a wonderful time. A local funeral home had set up tents with warmers and we served hot cocoa and cookies to the crowd on behalf of the hospital. There were many volunteers who made it all possible!
Yesterday Crawfordsville held their annual Christmas parade in the afternoon. We were blessed with a gorgeous day for a parade, although the high sun and warmish temperatures didn’t really capture the Christmas “mood!” There were over 60 floats in that parade, one including a church’s live band playing as they went along. At both parades there were the standard local businesses and community groups advertising their programs and products. And in both places candy was tossed out to the children. One highlight float for me was the church with the huge manger on a trailer! It must have been ten-20 feet high off the trailer bed! It was great symbolism and a reminder.
A parade is just a joyful experience. It’s easy entertainment, there is excitement in the air as the band plays and the clowns wave. At both places crowds were along the route on both sides enjoying the experience. For just a few moments we could leave our chaotic world, our work, our problems and watch all that is going on.
It’s a great example, I think, of what this pre-Christmas season of Advent is all about. We are for four weeks invited to leave our chaotic world, our work, our problems and watch what is going on. NOT the latest sale prices, not the long list of things to do, the decorating, the shopping, the mailing of cards. No, we just watch as God again enters into human history as a Babe born in a manger. Not the grandest entrance and by no means entertaining.
Mary and Joseph; young, far from home. In a cold, dark manger. And the Baby is born. The Savior of the world had been born! This One who would grow and become human and die for our sins. And on the third day rise again to defeat death. And now you and I join the parade of people who pass through this life but once. Don’t just stand on the sidelines and watch, live!
On this Pearl Harbor Day we remember those who died and think of their families. God bless you and yours
Pastor Doug Givan