Serving the scholastic field hockey and lacrosse community since 1998

Dec. 24, 2017 — The real meaning

It was snowing tonight as I got the car ready to go to church.

The flakes sounded more like sleet coming down on the umbrella, so I decided to check the temperature using the weather app.

35°, the screen said. And the temperature was supposed to be going up until morning.

I let in my traveling companion, who brought gifts for a couple of the churchgoers, then headed down the road. The wet pavement and the equally wet windshield made the usual reflective canvas whenever we went past a street lamp or another car.

But then we hit the intersection a quarter-mile from the church. In the deep background, flashing blue, white, and red lights splotched an unmistakeable layer on the windshield and the wet ground, making the fire truck look twice as big as it was. We carefully drove one block ahead, took one right, then took one left to get to the church parking lot.

Just outside the lot were perched not one, but two fire trucks that were of the oversized variety that are designed to hold a command center rather than just a ladder crew. There were also police and support vehicles.

It was at the inception of the service when the rector announced that there was a fire in the neighborhood in one of the grand old wooden houses that defined the neighborhood and also were the kind which were increasingly difficult to maintain.

The theme continued into the sermon; though you may be consumed with getting prepared for Christmas festivities and gift-giving, the greatest gifts are to those who are in need, or suffering. The sermon mentioned a litany of people in need, from hurricane victims to those right outside the door of the church building.

One such person came to the rector before one of the day’s docket of services and asked for something to eat. It wasn’t outside of the rector’s job description; he had started a food pantry ministry a few years ago.

And I think the unknown neighbor, burnt out of his or her home on Christmas Eve, is going to need the kind of help that truly special and giving souls can.


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