There are many similarities between Lent and Advent. They are both seasons of waiting. They are often both ignored or forgotten by most people since the "big day" is easier to monetize. There are little rituals associated with them that help us to bide the time before Christmas and Easter respectively. Also, if we want to, we can create a spiritual walk for ourselves through daily observations, like writing (or reading) this blog.
That Easter and Christmas aren't actually days but seasons is also lost for the same reason. We like short, punchy, easily understood things. Both unfold over time in the midst of everything else. This is different, too. They militate against compartmentalization of life.
Yet they are also pretty different. Advent is very much the junior partner in this. So, too, is Christmas. Easter is the "high holy day" of Christianity. Lent is the time to prepare for that day, with--during Holy Week--a series of days all more important than the first day of Christmas. With this in mind, it is easy to think of Advent as a sort of "user friendly" version of Lent. Honestly, easy is just fine. The season is indeed an echo--in theological terms--of its spring counterpart. Waiting for a birth should be less demanding than waiting for a rebirth.
That is the big difference. Christmas is about birth. Easter is about resurrection. Christmas isn't really a story so much as the opening paragraph of a story. Now at the beginning of winter we are still able to celebrate. Our stomachs are full from the fall harvest and the first snow sounds exciting. After the long winter we emerge on the other side, looking forward to the return of new life. We love Christmas. We need Easter. We all start somewhere but we hit bumps on the road. We look for personal resurrections to get back to where we now belong.
You can see it in the movies we watch. Elf, It's a Wonderful Life, Merry Christmas Charlie Brown, and A Christmas Carol are all really Easter stories set at Christmas time. It is further proof that we aren't celebrating Christmas so much as we are re-naming Yule. In these holiday stories, characters go from joy to sorrow and then are "reborn" back to a better state of being. In the course of It's a Wonderful Life, George Bailey goes from an idealistic kid to a determined adult, then descends into despair, alcohol, financial ruin, and suicide. Finally, through divine intervention he realizes his place in Bedford Falls and understands that even though life is never perfect, he is "the richest man in town". The movie ends ambiguously, too. Mr Potter, the stand in for capitalist power and greed, still looms offstage.
Those elements-- the journey from contentment to despair to spiritual intervention to rebirth in an imperfect world--exists in all these holiday specials. This is not surprising. Resurrection is more interesting. We understand disillusionment. We understand tragedy. We know that the hard part is living that life after we are born. We are always in the process of losing and finding our humanity.
Of course, one could argue for two films as being closer to Christmas than any other. In the original How the Grinch Stole Christmas the titular character starts as evil and ends up as a pretty good guy. There is no real evidence of a past goodness that he is reclaiming. The goodness is born for the first time within him on that frozen cliff. The other is Die Hard. If we are saying that all these Easter stories are Christmas stories because of snow and holiday greenery...then Die Hard makes the cut.
This year I did a lot of experimenting with things that I enjoy. One of them was making YouTube videos of me hiking with my friends. Most of them are not very good. However, as with folk music and most of my other hobbies, excellence was not the goal. They were fun to do and I learned some things.
That said, there may not ever be a rebirth of my hiking vids. I just don't have the money or the time to invest in them. I am sharing one here, though. It is really about Lent but hits many of the themes of today as well. Here is looking forward the births that will bring about rebirths in the end.
If you are reading this from your home in the northeastern US then you are probably recovering from about 36 hours of chaos. Thanks Climate Change! What the heck was that? It was a "bomb cyclone" and something that we are all going to have to get used to. Regular readers know that one of its early victims was my beloved Subaru Crosstrek. That was just the opening volley of a very strange day. The parsonage is one of a half-dozen old houses built in a swampy spot along the Charles river. In heavy rain our lawns become lakes and so do our basements. The morning scene was quite impressive. It only got wilder as the day went on. Like pretty much everybody in our neighborhood, we quickly lost power.
That was all yesterday. This morning we woke up to the general mess that happens when you don't know you are making a mess. Outdoors there was detritus everywhere. Indoors it looked like three humans, three cats, and a dog held a rager all night long. I remember this sort of mess from camping. After all, what is a "camp", tent, or hunting cabin other than a house without power?
Yesterday, at 4:30 in the afternoon, I came inside after making a last desperate attempt to save things from my destroyed car. I noticed then that I could no longer read or write without a light source. What had happened was that the storm had kicked up again and the dimming light from the dying day just couldn't penetrate the inside of the house. Without electricity it gets very dark very early and you don't even see all the things that need cleaning. How do we entertain ourselves, much less tidy up from dinner?
I have already speculated this Advent on what it must have been like before all our modern conveniences. The stakes were higher for the solstice then. However, it feels like the bomb cyclone of 12/18/23 was a lab project for experiencing things the way our ancestors did. This is what they dealt with every single year. The night grew longer. The storm season came. They needed to make sense of things as they made provision for food, warmth, and shelter. Light, my friends, was a second-tier concern. They told themselves stories as they went to bed earlier and rose later. The "long winter's nap" matched the movement of the sun. People were vulnerable during this time in a way we are not. Given those circumstances, I would be looking for miracles, too.
This week--for a short period of time--we were forced to live closer to nature. Yes, some homes had generators, I know. There was one house in our neighborhood like that and we all heard the rumble. The rest of us were dependent on the rise of our primal selves. This was subtle for some and more explicit for others. I used the primal energy to solve numerous basic problems that humans have always encountered. In the drafty old parsonage I needed to grab blankets in anticipation of a cold snap that never arrived. I had to figure out how to cook. To the best of my ability, I tried to keep up with holiday planning at church. We also needed to figure out how to entertain ourselves, which was easier for the humans than the pets. There is a reason that we love our conveniences.
In the end we did settle down to bed a bit early, after chores and last-minute attempts to salvage a day of work. The salvage attempt, by the way, was not successful. I think that with all that has happened lately, God is telling us that this will be an imperfect holiday. Then, after a while, there was nothing to do but wait for a new day...
I hope that you all managed to get something out of the darkness. When this has happened to me in the past, I didn't feel that there was as much entropy in my life as there is right now. Still, the ancients managed the seasons all the time, celebrating when it made sense to do so. So...let's manage what we can and celebrate when we can. This is our one life in the darkening earth.
We are on the approach now. A week from today will be Christmas! It has been quite a journey with a few stumbles on the way. I have lightly documented them here and you can go back and look if you wish. Today's setback had to do with a tree in the parsonage lawn falling on our cars. Mine may be beyond repair. We are still waiting to hear from the insurance company. The other is doing OK. That it didn't take out both is a blessing, I guess...
The thing about setbacks like the car and the ER visit is that they present an emotional risk. We can either drive ourselves into the ground feeling bad about them, or we can put them in a room in our mind as things to deal with in their time. If we do the latter, then maybe we can keep our cool. Perhaps we can maintain some balance in the midst of the mess. So in this case I called the insurance company, filed the claim online, and then sat down to write to you all.
I will say though, there has been enough chaos that I am way behind on my holiday stuff. This included both home and work. The church Christmas cards have not been started. I usually make a ton of fruitcakes for people in the church, which also hasn't happened. Much of this has to do with the shortness of the season and the absence of another staff person to help me this year. It is frustrating but...it is what it is and Christmas will come in the midst of the chaos as easily as in a more balanced time. That is to say that some things probably won't get done. That is just the story of the year.
So here is my message from yesterday. As I say at the beginning, it is probably the most forgotten piece of preaching I do every year. However, it is about finding balance and feeling emotions that perhaps "the Man" would rather you stuff down or treat with shopping.
PS I made a couple pop culture references. It turns out people know who Jerry Garcia is and aren't so sure about Dan Quayle. Oh well, I am batting .500 which is good in some places...
Today was a busy one. Pageant Sunday was its brilliant self. As always, the rehearsal was as entertaining as the event. It was fun just hanging out with everyone. There were kids, parents, and random adults preparing for their various roles. People started showing up at 8:30 for a 10am start time. I love pre-church chaos when I can get it. In the old days people arrived earlier to church. These days it takes a special event.
That is fine. I know where most people are on Sundays and you can't get on everyone's schedule all the time. I am always happy to see who I can see. Today that included some former youth groupers who are now adults. They stepped in to play guitars and help support the angel choir. They will always be kids to me. I love to have them around.
After coffee hour I had a meeting with our music director, Steve, and our trumpet player, Conor. Conor also happens to be my son. He is among the former-youth-grouper-now-adults group. We took some time to figure out the service for a week from today...Christmas Eve. The three of us have been doing this for years. There will be only one service this year at 5pm, so there are no second chances. There is also so much to do.
Anyway, that is what I've got for today. If you weren't in church, then you missed the best pageant ever. Of course, there is always next year...
Here is the prayer from this morning. I "stole" it from last year's Christmas Eve service. I will be all about cannibalizing parts this week and writing new stuff when it makes sense. Of course, I think I wrote this, but I am not sure. The holidays come and go and circle back...
Prayer Advent 3 2023
As we celebrate the Christmas story
We pray for the strength
And the perseverance
To accept the lessons of this time
In the cold of winter
Amidst the distractions of our lives
Please help us to find the peace and the confidence
To do what is right
To reach out
Seeking justice through unity
With each other and The Divine
In our walk of faith we have learned
That the spirit of Christmas
Does not remove us from where we live
But meets us there
In all our human mess
So God, we pray that
You open our hearts
To hear the still, small voice
That calls us to our better selves
And a better world
We are cruising right along now aren't we? It is late on a Saturday but I have it in my head that I will post every day through Advent. I will make it a quick one. The day was taken up with a variety of holiday activities. The morning was about getting ready for Pageant Sunday tomorrow. The afternoon included a trip to watch "It's a Wonderful Life." I always find it a bit of a challenge but it is a nice tradition.
What I have for you is an old sermon from 2017. Check it out!
I am going to say something that may not be immediately acceptable to everyone. I think that we are a bit too quick to put the pandemic behind us. What I mean by this is that we seem to have rolled right back to "business as usual" and--if we don't pause every once in a while--we are at risk of forgetting what we learned over the past few years.
Did it stink to high heaven? Did we all have harrowing stories of one kind or another? We absolutely did. I have written extensively about my own experience during that time. Like you, I have no interest in going back. I do not miss it at all! However, I think we all learned from it and this impacts our lives right now.
So much of what I have done since that time is because of what I learned about myself--both good and bad--during the plague. In fact, we are all still feeling the effects in how we move in the world. There is a great deal of striving in the air. Everyone seems to be trying so hard with everything they do. The conflicts we are experiencing--personally and internationally--are connected to the world-trauma we went through. This still needs to be acknowledged. We aren't the same people we were...so who are we?
In 2020 at Advent we were in peak pandemic. We had learned new skills and strengths. We had discovered weaknesses we didn't know we had. We were all struggling with restrictions. We were fighting about masking and vaccines. It stank to high heaven. However, we also found ways to work around the restrictions and the disease. We found ways to keep families and communities together. Tremendous effort was put into these things, in fact. Now that we are back together, it makes sense that we want to do what we want. We are gravitating toward individualism after a period of collective action.
Still...we have these skills now. We know how to pull together during difficult times. Before you bring up the Covid-deniers, conspiracy theorists, anti-vaxxers, and whatnot, I want you to know that I see them. They are hard to miss. The trauma has made them as well. However, if you are reading this, you probably aren't one of those people. You worked hard to keep things as even as possible. You spent time and effort--mostly thankless--to keep your institutions intact. Good for you! You grew--even in the dark times when you couldn't get off the couch. Now in the chaos of the final days of 2023, it is worth remembering all the good you did.
How does all this have to do with the holidays? Well, I think we felt the distance the most in Advent of 2020. The weather changed so those drive-way parties were more difficult. The darkness made the days shorter as always. Also, we couldn't gather like we used to for sacred events like the Pageant and Christmas Eve. We worked so very hard, though. We made a thing that wasn't ideal but that still brought us together.
I have over-used the picture of the Eliot Church Ukestra playing by the side of the church on Christmas Eve for our outdoor, socially distanced, carol sing. That, actually, was from 2021. In 2020 things were even harder. But we did it, didn't we? Members of the church worked together to save the congregation from extinction. We gave a gift to the future. We proved we could, in fact, do hard things.
So, here are a couple videos. The first is the Christmas pageant! This Sunday, December 17, 2023 we will be indoors as per usual, though it should be mentioned that we have last minute cast changes because of Covid. Every year has the best pageant ever, but first among equals has to be the one below. We embedded it in the rest of a service, but here is the pageant itself...and a bit of a blooper reel before the final hymn.
We also did Christmas Eve! Here it is [below] in all its glory. We would not have done these things if we did not love each other. We would not have done them if we did not love the church. I know that sometimes we like to think of ourselves as above emotions. We consider ourselves as too advanced and mature to have faith in anything. We must have faith in something. This would be hard work for people who didn't care.
That is all for now. I need to run off and write a teeny-tiny reflection for Pageant Sunday this year. Maybe looking at the hard times and what we managed to achieve will help with today's challenges in the darkening world.
When I was a kid, this machine shed was a big part of my life. I painted it (twice). I helped reshingle it after the world's largest raccoon tore racoon-sized holes in the roof. I learned to sharpen various dangerous farming implements in its back room. I learned to "grease" vintage hay rakes that I would then pull behind a 1948 Ford tractor when I was learning to drive. Perhaps most importantly, it was the base of operations for my grandfather's Christmas tree farm and--therefore--one of the most formative elements in my understanding of how to celebrate the holidays.
Even then Christmas and Advent were part of my job. I would spend my summers up on the side of those hills as a teen. My tasks were to mow between the rows, then swing a machete along the edge of a young tree in long, diagonal, downward strokes. News flash: trees are not that symmetrical. I would try (and fail) to avoid the poison ivy, sunstroke, and angry critters who lived at the base in the underbrush. I did manage to not cut myself, which was an achievement considering how much I enjoyed sharpening things. Then we would plant the seedlings for Christmases seven years hence. Planting was the worst. It was heavy, boring work. Thankfully my little brother, Dan, started to come down with me after a couple years. Then I had a friend and ally in my misery.
At some point we would head back to school and family. Other relatives (cousins mostly) would help Grampa look after the trees along with the rest of the farm until we could come back around Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving meant tagging and counting the trees, mowing one last time between them, and decorating the machine shed to attract families interested in "authenticity" in their holiday rituals...if authenticity involved cutting your own tree.
It also meant dragging the immensely heavy antique sleigh onto the porch of the house. Everyone helped with that.
The day after Thanksgiving we would cut one of the largest trees and put it in the front hall of my grandparents' house. It would go up two stories through the hole made by the winding staircase. The day after that we would cut one for ourselves. Usually it was slightly ungainly and unlikely to sell otherwise. Then we would tie it on the car to drive six hours north to our home.
Yes, it was a bit "coals to Newcastle" to bring a tree from Dutchess County, New York to Maine. but we weren't the only ones! It was part of our family tradition. It was something from the ancestral home. Eight generations of our family had lived and farmed there. It was something that made my mother happy, a part of her childhood that we would keep in the house for a couple months until it was just too dangerous to comprehend.
That is not how we do it now. As an adult in Maine--and well after the family sold the farm--we would still go out to cut a tree. We tried that once here in the suburbs but the poison ivy that encased the trunk was so bad--even in November--that I was sick for a month. I still looked like a goblin by Pageant Sunday. So now we go to some place nearby and just buy one.
This year--as I have mentioned--we are slow to get organized. This feels a bit strange. Historically the tree has been a huge part of my own experience of the season. Maybe it is because I have been outside so much and experienced so many trees lately, but the edge is off this year.
Also, I have really gotten into plants as a regular thing. As I mentioned a couple days ago, the popularity of all this greenery comes from pre-Christian times. When it is dark and gray and cold, we want something green and living in the house. Maybe it drives the evil spirits away. Maybe it just drives away our own burdens for a moment. I am enough of a pantheist to think it does both. For this reason I have plants around all the time now and in almost every room.
Still, it is good to have a Christmas tree. We now have two. they are both smaller than usual. This has to do with space and time constraints...and our four-legged roommates.
There is something calming about living things that don't actually care about the holidays, or about the problems of people. We have a cat who find great satisfaction in picking up individual pieces of food, washing them in his bowl, eating them, then doing it all again. We have a dog who will gladly fall asleep on the couch in front of a YouTube fire. We have two other cats with their own issues, but you get the idea. The tree and the plants fill that same function. They reach deep into the primal part of ourselves. Maybe they just help us to. Either way, that is where our humanity is.
Yesterday I was talking about mental health during this time. I brought up a few examples of things that might help us care for ourselves and for each other. This is another one. Go out in nature if you can. Bring it inside if you cannot. You can also do both. I hope you are all able to turn off the noise as we get closer to Christmas Day. The holiday is not about what we do. It is about what is. It is a time to just be, not as a modern with modern concerns, but as a deep part of the life around us. We are people who gather plants and animals. We are people who decorate sacrificial evergreens. We aren't nearly as sophisticated as we think...this is right and good.
We are well into the season now and at least some people are getting cranky. There are reasons of course, but it seems that many of us are falling into habits that need to be nipped in the bud. Of course the reason we are doing this is the same reason why it is a bad idea! It is the holiday season and people are trying way too hard to make it perfect.
Guess what? It isn't going to be perfect, so we all need to back off. We need to show some grace to ourselves and to each other. The picture in our head isn't going to happen. Still, if we chill out a bit what will happen will be better than what we can reasonably expect.
In our house right now we are having quite a few conversations about decorations. We feel like--for very good reasons--we are way behind and each of us has a different picture in our head of what each room would ideally look like. We are also stressing out about shopping lists and food. I also get to be stressed out about the various religious services and other church events that other people have vested with more wieght than they can realistically bear. If we--all of us--aren't careful, the whole season can become a narrative of disappointment. Who wants that?
This brings us to an important subject. We need to monitor ourselves and our mental health during the holidays. Part of this is self-care. Part of this is caring for others. Often we tend toward one. However we are social people so each circles back around. Anyway, here are some things to think about doing for the next few weeks and maybe beyond...
Practice forgiveness: This is as good a place as any to start. Yes, this means forgiving ourselves for not getting every single thing right. However, it also means forgiving the people around us even if they aren't quite measuring up. Everyone is in this together. Everyone is having a hard time. We need to practice a level of grace when we are out in the world. We need to do the same in our own head-space.
So the wreaths aren't as full and bushy as you would like them to be. Can you forgive yourself for getting them anyway? Can you forgive the harried worker who sells them to you? Hint: the answer should be "yes" both times. The holiday is not about the quality of the wreaths. The holiday is not about the stress you are feeling about them either. Take a breath. Figure out what is going on inside you. It probably isn't about what is setting you off, after all. One of the many themes of the Christmas story is that nothing is perfect but God still exists in the midst of those imperfections. This is a good thing to remember right now.
Get some exercise: We all need to step away a bit and give our bodies time to practice just being bodies. Sure, running about from task to task does burn calories. However, that is not what exercise is about. It is as much a mental re-set as anything else. We need that. We need to remember that we are alive and vibrant children of the Divine. Walking is good. So is going to the gym. If you are one of those people who can afford a Peloton and a place to store it...do a session a day. Part of what is making us cranky is that we are neglecting ourselves in favor of this extended and constantly extending holiday season. Exercise--whatever works for you--will give you perspective and energy you need.
Cut back on consumption: This one should be obvious...but it is hard to do. It also comes in two forms. We over consume during this time on things and on food. We should be watching both. No one is making us buy wreaths, or a tree, or an expensive scarf for Aunt Sally, or whatever it is we are stressed about right now. We also don't need to put everything in our mouths! Too much alcohol makes us depressed and can cause so many social problems when we act before we think. Too much food makes us sluggish and sad. If we do absolutely nothing different this season--if we just eat beans and vacuum occasionally--do you know what happens? Christmas still starts on December 25. Amazing right? In fact, the beans and vacuuming are optional! Time just keeps marching on.
Get Nerdy: Literally everybody I know has something they do that makes them happy. It can be reading a particular genre of fiction. It can be studying a specific area of history. We engage variously in video games, tabletop roleplaying games, model trains, carpentry, playing or collecting music, and knitting. There are more examples, of course. Yeah it's the holidays and we are busy. Yeah we are carrying around feelings that come from past holidays, missing people, and regular-old conflicts. However, we are also going to drive everyone crazy if we don't do the things that help us relax. Engage your passions, people! As with exercise, they help us to step away.
Embrace Imperfection: This is the big one, which is why I am circling back. Perfection is killing us. None of us are going to get there this season. Honestly, trying will make it worse. Advertisers, our families, our friends, and society in general are attempting to get us to be perfect. We--yes all of us--are expecting perfection from everyone else. I mean, what a small and petty way to live. Perfection is the enemy of the good. We cannot let perfection win. So yeah...stop trying so hard. Stop feeling bad about when things go south a bit. Stop expecting more of others than we are able to sustain for ourselves. We are doing good and that is enough.
I guess what I am saying today is that I am very much in favor of a slacker Christmas. Let's step back a bit and just do things in there time. If time runs out...well...it wasn't meant to be, was it? That is OK. This time really isn't worth getting ourselves messed up over. It isn't worth messing up others or our relationships with them, either.
I am leaving you this video as well. Abbie Barnes is a young hiker and mental health activist from England. She produced this video during the plague and addresses many of the same issue from a mental health perspective.
So I wish I had the time to write something up that would be more profound than usual. The problem is, there isn't really any time! We are falling farther and farther behind on things as we lurch toward Christmas. All we can do is hang on. There is good news, though, though the days get darker we know that we will ultimately make it out to the other side.
With that in mind--and with about 20 things to do before I can have my coffee--I am linking to an article from last year. I was saving it for later, when we are closer to the solstice but it seems that the flow of energy has put it here. The post is about a couple solstice walks. If you are just here for the holiday stuff you might not realize it...but this has mostly been a hiking blog.
One of these walks was on the actual night of the solstice. Every year we gather at the trail head to Pegan Hill. Then we walk up as dark falls and sing carols at the top. It is a nice trip! In many ways I like it better than the pomp of Christmas Eve a few days later. The other is a hike I took in the cold the next day. We will be doing the carol sing again this year on the 21st. We will meet at 4:15 pm and the rest is as tradition dictates.
Anyway, here is the link to the blog post. I urge you to check it out. Now I am off to the next thing! I am also looking forward to a few moments of peace at least on the solstice if not sooner...
...and here is the video from the top of Crow Hill Ledges last year on the day the sun started its journey back.
We have been trying out a new format at church. I have mentioned it before, actually. We are calling it our "Second Sunday" series--it is always the second Sunday of the month--and it doesn't really have a sermon. I do talk for four minutes or so about the theme. Otherwise there are readings and music. The first service was a bit of a mess as we figured things out. The second was all readings from The Hobbit that address a theme of surprise journeys. Yesterday, on the Second Sunday of Advent, we read from a variety of texts that attempt to make sense of the season in more "modern" terms. While I was putting it together I asked myself what sorts of things have influenced how we celebrate today...
Now, Christmas itself is the way some traditions--and not even all Christian ones--have historically made sense of an even more ancient winter observance that lies beneath all the modern holidays. Maybe this is hard to grasp for some people but, of course, it is true. I think that sometimes we have trouble comprehending just how ancient this solstice holiday really is. It is so old, in fact, that we can't really remember its origins. That distance is hard to grasp. This is why we keep reinterpreting it.
Sticking just with Christmas, we see an effort over the years to wrap something very old in a relatively new holiday cloth. Jesus probably wasn't born on the 25th of December. We humans just needed him to be so that we had a reason to celebrate. The real show resides in the short days and the cold, inclement weather.
If anyone needs any evidence of the pagan roots of Christmas they don't need to look any further than one of the carols we sang at yesterday's service. The Sans Day Carol is a Cornish folk song and a tribute to the holly plant. The song calls it the “first tree in the greenwood." Yes, the lyrics find ways to include Christmas imagery but..one couldn't help but feel a bit like a druid singing it. Humanity has always ascribed magical properties to holly. In one of the books we read from--Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper--the heroes put it over the door to keep the evil spirits out. That is a modern book. However, in this case and in others, the author is alluding to ancient tradition. We can't escape the old holiday. All we can do is change its name and add new traditions that help us to understand.
This is the season of the apparent death of the Earth. No matter how we perceive winter--as a recreational bonanza, a dangerous annoyance, or somewhere in between--we need to understand how it would have looked before we could take a picture from outer space. We need to consider a time when people couldn't be quite sure that the spring--and with it life itself--would return. This is why we find those images of holly, ivy, and the long-lasting evergreens in the first place. They are proof that there is still life and abundance under the ice and snow.
Now it is easier to know that the season of famine is temporary. However, we have our own fears, don't we? We hope that maybe someday these fears will also seem quaint and unfounded. Until then we also--like the ancients--need that reassurance that comes from gathering together in the old ways. We need the holly and the ivy. We need to pray and sing. The mystery of life, the cycles of the seasons, and the motions of the heavens all reside deep inside us. So we create art--including worship--to explain the profound feeling we have as the world dies before being reborn once again
Here is a video of the band yesterday leading that carol...
I am a full-time pastor in a small, progressive church in Massachusetts. This blog is about the non-church things I do to find spiritual sustenance.