It was two weeks before Christmas. A woman who lived in a big-city apartment building found a greeting card taped to her door. It read "Merry Christmas from the custodial staff." "How nice," she said to herself and promptly laid it aside and forgot about it. The following week she came home to find another card taped to her door. It was the very same message: "Merry Christmas from the custodial staff." But this time, stamped right in the middle of the card in big red letters were the words, "Second notice!"
We're all forgetful human beings. We forget so much: birthdays, anniversaries, appointments, our checkbook, where we parked the car. You name it; we forget it! We make lists so we won't forget, and then we forget where we put our lists!
Sad to say, our forgetfulness isn't limited to little things in life. Sometimes we forget the big things, the important things, as well: who our true friends are, what really matters in life, who loves us, who needs us. We sometimes forget why we're here on this earth. Yes indeed, we are experts in forgetting things!
That's one reason to gather here in community every week: to help us remember who we really are: daughters and sons of an all-Loving God. We gather as a community to remember the really important things: to remind ourselves that Jesus is our model and our guide; to eat at the Communion Banquet and become what we eat, to find support and give support to each other. We need these weekly reminders because we are so forgetful, we get so bogged down, so busy with the details and routines of life. We see the tree in front of our eyes, but we miss the forest all around us!
Most of all, we gather here to remember that our God is not an accountant, a judge or a police officer. Our God is a God of Love. We'll soon celebrate another reminder of God's great love for us: the feast of the Birth of Jesus, our teacher and mentor, our true Joy and our best Hope. That's worth a few reminders, isn't it? Hmmm. Let's see now, just how many Advent reminders have you had in your lives to make Christmas merry and your lives joy-filled? Me? I've already had 74, and I'm still much too forgetful of God's great Love; but I do thank God for all the "second notices" sent my way. So should we all!