This past year, my entire family attended worship together - my mother's memorial service. We don't all agree on many religious issues, even ways of worshipping, but we all loved Grandma Muriel. While my mother honored all of our religious choices and attended worship with us if that is what we did or stayed home if that is what we did on Sunday morning, she prayed for a time our love would conquer our differences.
When we began planning for Advent and Christmas, reading the birth narratives and praying, Zechariah's prayer (Luke 1: 67+) kept coming to me as if sung by angels: "God has done what God has said God would do ... allow us to worship God without fear."
If we are to learn from God's making Godself known to to us in the birth of God's son Jesus, should we not be offering a worship wherein all families could be worshipping as families without fear?
Now I know all to well that that could be accomplished in the same manner as the Pax Romano - the peace of the Roman Empire - if those who are not in power or are not bullies just shut up and act nice. And that gave me an idea - I'm the pastor, I'm in charge, what if I just step back and let those attending create a space of scripture, prayer, song, communion, and candle-lighting - so I did.
Let the "Amen!" sound from thy people again.