I had a Kingdom of God moment on Sunday. These “Kingdom” moments happen when I see something that I’d only expect to see in heaven. A lot happened on Sunday so it’d be easy to point at a variety of things that would be a Kingdom moment. We had a well-attended Christmas brunch, we had one service for the entire congregation, we had Morning Prayer with Holy Communion, and we even had music from the school Chapel service. Any one of those things could be a Kingdom moment. For as great and amazing as it all was, my Kingdom moment was seeing Hector Vasquez sitting with Wilma Hunter. Although this might seem trivial to some, for me it was a big deal.
If you attend our 8 am service, you probably know Hector. He attends faithfully with his lovely wife, June; and their daughter-in-law, Celia, is one of our lectors. He always has a smile and a warm handshake. For those that attend our 10 am service, you probably know Wilma Hunter. She arrives early, helps out in the Narthex with bulletins, sits near the front of the church, and always wears a beautiful hat. I love both Hector and Wilma. They are important people to me personally and to the congregation as a whole.
As far as I know, they do not know each other. But, to my surprise on Sunday morning, there they were sitting side by side. I never thought I’d see them together in worship until we are all at worship in God’s heavenly kingdom.
Maybe this is one of the great things about the Christmas season – gathering friends and family that are not often (or ever) in the same room. One of my favorite Christmas day experiences was when both of my grandmothers were together. Usually we’d split our time, or the holidays, between the two of them, but for one grand Christmas, they were together.
As we enter the fourth Sunday of Advent with anxious preparations for Christmas, let’s remember that one special element of this season is about gathering together. After all, without gathering of friends and family together, December 25 could be just another date on the calendar.