Thursday, December 21, 2006

To take a pause...

It has been a long while since I posted. I feel inclined to apologize for that, and I am not particularly pleased with this inclination. I imagine it comes from the deep seeded need to please as many people as possible with my limited life and abilities. (They say recognizing it is the first step...)

Perhaps it is the time of year - this Advent time of preparation - that has us all running ragged. Very few people are able to find the time to prepare themselves for this amazing gift. I find myself writing newsletter articles, bulletin inserts, and sermons about taking time for preparation, but then find myself in the hypocrisy of busy-ness.

In some ways, this allows me, in my own difficulties to reach out to a congregation, reminding them that we are all in this journey of Advent together- seeking a time of peace and reflection in a world that demands results and perfection.

But in other ways, I wonder how I can be a model for others in their prayer life when mine seems to move to the bottom of the to-do list. The one place I told myself, as I left seminary, it would never go.

So we come today- to the longest night of the year in the northern hemisphere. In this dark night, a night that may show you blizzards, ice storms or clear northern lights may you find the little bit of light that shows the way:
The way of forgiveness for what has been left undone
The way of hope for living in all you have done
The way of grace for simply being you- and knowing that is enough.

Light one candle to watch for Messiah, and take a deep breath of renewal.

Friday, December 01, 2006

The first day of December

It is a beautiful day. It seems like and understatement when I look out the window with the first cup of steaming coffee- watching the sunlight glisten off of newly fallen snow, the sky is the winter purple gray, the snow falls in such a pattern that a highly trained set engineer would be proud. It is a beautiful day. It is always a treat when the weather matches my vision of what the first day of December should look like.

It is also a difficult day. I know of family members who are preparing for a funeral, of parishoners that prepare for medical tests, of friends who are carefully repairing broken relationships and seeking healing.

It is a day of rejoicing. Dear ones have heard good news of bodies free of cancer, the influenze epidemic is on the decline, and we are celebrating baptisms, new members and children's concerts this whole month.

As they say in a congregation I served in Chicago: God is good all the time, All the time, God is good.