Showing posts from October, 2015

Church Seasons: Christmas

After the church season of keeping awake and alert.  After Advent lighting the candles of hope, peace, joy, and love.  As the days grow darker and the candles drip wax growing shorter, eventually the waiting and watching is over.  God breaks into the world.  Advent is the preparation for Emmanuel, God with us and for us.  The candles of hope, peace, joy, and love help direct our gaze toward where we might notice God within us and around us.  If we want to know what God is up to in the world, Advent says, look where hope causes the tiny hairs on your next to stand on end.  If you want to know where God breaks in try cultivating peace, shalom (wholeness) in your life and in your relationships.  If you want to prepare the soil of your soul for Christ, try radical, unconditional love (especially if that means reaching out to someone in a different tribe!)  If you want to make room for God, make room for joy.  Christmas is the culmination and coming together of hope, peace, joy and lo

Church Seasons ~ Advent

We have looked at the four seasons, now we turn to the church seasons.  There is a different rhythm and routine to the church year...what is often called the liturgical year.  These seasons offer us an important insight about faith and living in relationship with each other.  The church year starts with the season of Advent.  This is the four Sundays before Christmas.  Christmas is always on December 25th, so look backwards and find the four Sundays preceding and that is Advent.   Advent was at one time forty days, mirroring the season of Lent (the 40 days, excluding Sundays, before Easter).  But at some point it was narrowed.  Each Sunday you light a candle for the season of Advent.  The candles are named: hope, peace, joy, and love.  These candles light the way for the coming, the birth of Jesus at Christmas.  These candles light the way as darkness descends on the earth (until the winter solstice ~ which is December 22nd, the longest night, and slowly days start to have mo

Seasons Part Three

Having explored briefly the season of fragile but exciting growth in spring, the continued growth of summer...when tomatoes ripen, but so do storms brew on the horizon; we move on now to fall, autumn, and harvest.  The fruit is ready, the veggies plump, the earth yields a cornucopia of goodness.  The season of fall also brings an important transition.  The act of harvesting the seeds planted is at once both a beginning and an end.  The days of watching the slow growth give way to the food nourishing our bodies, often bracing for the bleak mid-winter around the corner. The cooler breezes and fireworks of God's creation tell our bodies that something is happening.  Fall happens to be my most favorite time.  Of course, fall in Florida is different.  The leaves do start to change, but it is slow, more subtle and we will spend most of winter racking around our yard.  I know people up north feel very sorry for us.  But sometimes the work of harvest can be slow too.  It starts w

Seasons Part Two

Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest, Sun, moon and stars in their courses above, Join with all nature in manifold witness; To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love   Verse 2, Great is Thy Faithfulness There are seasons in our lives.  Times when emotionally, physically, or spiritually we feel in a season of spring growth, summer sustaining, autumn harvest, or winter fallow-ness.  One place of tension can be when we feel in one season in one place in our lives and another season at another place.  For example, maybe work is one season and family is another.  We can also feel in different seasons within our own bodies.  We can feel physically in a time of rest and barrenness, while emotionally in spring time.  At such moments, being in different seasons within our bodies, usually one will dominate and even direct the other parts of our lives.  Do you sense that one season might be a bit more over-powering?  I sometimes suspect that feeling in winter emotionally, physi

Seasons of Life

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven Ecclesiastes 3 There are seasons within our life.  Times when we go through droughts and dry spots, feeling under the scorching heat of stress like a Florida summer.  Times when we are intentionally barren, choosing to let rest and renewal happen like in an Iowa corn field in winter.  Times when life feels renewed or reborn like spring.  Times of noticeable transitions like autumn.  The questions is, what season are you in?  Where do you find yourself?  Maybe in-between a season, not quite one or the other.   Over the next few posts I want to look at the seasons then talk about the church seasons.  Noticing and naming what season we are in spiritually, emotionally and physically is important.  Some of the tension in our lives comes from feeling spiritually in one season and emotionally in another.  Yet, at other times, we might feel in one season spiritually and it will dominate and dictate over o

Power of music and power of community

I wanted to share the above video as a reminder about the power of community and the power of music.  The people here wanted to have the Foo Fighters come and play a concert in their they made a video.  Almost 25 million people have watched this.  First, I find it fascinating that someone came up with this idea.  Second, that people would come and do this.  But then again, people show up every Sunday to sing hymns, pray, and (what really makes me marvel) listen to a sermon!  These are not everyday activities, but there is power in the communal.  I am sure people had a blast meeting other people who drum or play guitar or sing. In what ways are you connecting with others?  Where do you find community? These are important questions for parents feeling stretched and pulled in many directions and that if their child doesn't get into that program the whole future is bleak.  It is important for people who are retired and wondering how to not just fill their day, but do