Christmas Day: Amazing Peace

This beautiful poem by Maya Angelou captures the wide breadth of emotions that we experience on this day.  I set it to the classic Alfred Burt carol, “Some Children See Him”, a reminder that God is all in all, to all of humanity.

May your Christmas be filled with peace and joy.

Christmas Day: Amazing Peace

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

Waiting, looking for hope

Advent greetings friends,

It’s been a long time since I’ve written.  Lots and lots going on including selling my house (not for the faint of heart!).

Advent this year finds us standing in difficult and unsure times.  As I write this, I’m listening to a podcast from the new Facebook group Make Advent Great Again.  (Yes, that name is intentional.)

Make Advent Great Again

Folks are gathering in that group from around the world, all of us seeking community as we strive to keep Advent.  The podcast is offering suggestions for staying grounded in the divine as we journey to Bethlehem, albeit in our 21st-century context.  It’s also exploring Advent texts and concepts via questions submitted by group members to the moderators.

The moderators are John Pavlovitz, pastor and author of A Bigger Table, Tripp Fuller of HomeBrewed Christianity, and Mike Morell, co-author with Fr. Richard Rohr of The Divine Dance.  Yeah, they need a female voice.  Next year?

As I’ve been revising my resume, searching for a call, I’ve decided to do additional reflections that will be made available to congregations.  The first question in that set of reflections asks what you do to prepare for your ministry each day.  And so through this Advent season, I want to offer suggestions of places and practices that have offered me good and healthy space for preparation to enter daily into both the pain and the hope of this world.

And each week, I’ll also supply a link to the Advent meditations I created a few years ago.

Today, I offer to you an app that I learned about from Bp. Jim Hazelwood of the ELCA New England Synod, called Headspace.  Here is the website, with links to download the app:  Headspace

It’s free and offers lots of meditations for a variety of time slots and situations.  I participated in one 10-minute time with other church leaders at a conference and found it to be a great tool.

For the first week in Advent, here is my Advent Meditation #1:  Among the Poor

May your Advent journey be one of peace, prayer, and promise.