I attended the annual Polar Express party last night. I found joy in greeting our young guests and giving them their Polar Express golden train ticket which, of course, had to be punched by our very own train conductor, Dr. Mike Marshall (Who needs Tom Hanks when you have Dr. Marshall?).
Many of the youngsters were dressed in appropriate pajama attire as they eagerly settled down for their magical ride via the classic movie, “Polar Express.” To tell you that the room became so quiet that one could have dozed off would be an exaggeration, but there was a comfortable buzzing of calm as most everyone watched and listened intently — at least until the hot cocoa carts arrived.
Then the joy came in watching our young guests garnish their warm beverage with marshmallows and peppermint — or in some cases, garnish their marshmallows and peppermint with a splash of cocoa. It was the perfect drink for finishing this enchanting train ride.
The end of the Polar Express movie did not mean the end of the evening, however. Jingle bells announced the appearance of the joyful man of the hour – Jolly St. Nick! Children were joyful at the prospect of sharing their wish list with the man in red, while parents were relieved and hopeful that their youngster’s sugar rush would be nearly over by the time they arrived safely at home.
It was an evening of pure joy for everyone!
How appropriate it is to find joy in a gathering focused on children. After all, this time of year is about a child who brought everlasting joy to our world.
I am delighted and thankful to be in jubilant celebration with you during this Advent season.
As you experience the birth of the Christ Child, may your heart overflow with child-like joy.
Joy to the World! Joy to First Church! The Christ Child is coming!
Director of Stewardship