We had a lovely time at St John's Kirk yesterday evening, attending the Christmas Joy service from my daughter's school. It's such an atmospheric church: add a large number of dedicated teachers and many talented young people and the end result is a truly wonderful evening of Christmas music and readings.
This reading was a particular favourite of mine - I have copied it from http://www.wwmetoronto.ca/newsArchive.asp as it's hard to find on their web site.
1 Corinthians 13 - A Christmas Version
If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls, but do not show love to my family, I`m just another decorator.
If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime, but do not show love to my family, I`m just another cook.
If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home and give all that I have to charity, but do not show love to my family, it profits me nothing.
If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties and sing in the choir`s cantata but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.
Love stops the cooking to hug the child.
Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the husband.
Love is kind, though harried and tired.
Love doesn`t envy another`s home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.
Love doesn`t yell at the kids to get out of the way, but is thankful they are there to be in the way.
Love doesn`t give only to those who are able to give in return but rejoices in giving to those who can`t.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails. Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust, but giving the gift of love will endure.