The Work of Christmas

Blessed Epiphany!

The actual day was yesterday, but we have a whole season, through Mardi Gras on February 13th, to begin the work of Christmas, as clearly set forth in the famous poem by Howard Thurman.

The Work of Christmas

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New Year’s Resolutions

Wishing you all a very happy new year!

My faith community worshiped together on Sunday, December 31st and as part of worship, we wrote things from 2017 we wanted to leave behind on slips of paper and then, right before wishing one another peace, we shredded them – yes, in a shredder.  It was a great moment.  But we also made space for writing our hopes and dreams for 2018 in simple one- or two-word phrases on strips of cloth, and then tying those to pieces of framed chicken wire.  It’s an idea I saw at the ELCA Worship Jubilee in Atlanta in 2015.

This morning, the blog from Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago entitled “We Talk, We Listen” features a wonderful reflection by their Pastor to the Community and Director of Worship, Rev. Erik Christensen.  He puts forward the idea that while resolutions can be a good thing, what is usually missing from them is accountability – which can also be thought of as relationship.

For today’s blog post, I am linking to his, because he has solid things to say about how this also reflects our worship pattern as Lutherans.  I am in the middle of moving and am very short on time (pro tip: don’t do this at the holidays if you can avoid it!) and I am so grateful to lift up the good work of a respected colleague.

We Talk, We Listen: Rev. Erik Christensen

Enjoy!

Advent 4: And did it happen

We are on an ever-so-brief precipice between the fourth week of Advent and Christmas Eve.  My home congregation moved Advent back a week, so we observed Advent 4 last week.  But many places are observing Advent 4 in the morning and Christmas Eve at night tomorrow.

This is one of my favorite pieces from the collection “Cloth for the Cradle” by the Iona Community.  The language dabbles in the approaching Incarnation, with a tone of amazement – not only that this could happen at all, but that it could happen for each one of us.

Advent 4: And did it happen

Advent 3: We suspect angels

I am behind with my Advent posts, since I am selling my house and it closes in a few weeks.  We are in accelerated packing mode at the moment.  So that means I’ll post the next few Advent videos at a slightly accelerated pace to catch up.

Today is the meditation for Advent 3, “We suspect angels.”  I am again struck by the timeliness and timelessness of the words from the Iona Community, penned over 25 years ago.

E’en so, Lord Jesus, quickly come.

Advent 3: We suspect angels

Advent 2: Open our eyes

I made this series of video meditations three years ago.  I am struck by the incredible timelessness of these words from the Iona Community/Wild Goose Worship Group in Scotland.

Three years ago, if you had told me our world would be in the situation it is now, would I have believed you?  Probably not.

But these words were written almost thirty years ago, when the world sat in yet another place of struggle.  And in the Advent season as we read words from Isaiah and from Paul’s letters, I am reminded that the struggle is not only real but perpetual – the struggle for the peaceable realm of God.  This piece reminds us that stepping forward from the places of despair is a matter of one step at a time.

Advent II: Open our eyes