Pastoral Musings from Rain City

it's about 'what is church?' it's about whether 'emergent' is the latest Christian trend or something more substantial. it's musing on what it means to live the city, in America, in community, intergenerationally, at this time in history...

Monday, December 24, 2007

Let's Just Celebrate

My whole family is downstairs. Three great kids who aren't kids anymore. A mother-in-law whose husband died in June. A wife who's been by my side for 28 years, through 10 moves, 5 cities, the starting of a non-profit, endless weeks of travel during the 90's, and more recently, the sense that 'change is in the air' as our children mature and move into their own spheres more and more fully.

If you've not noticed, there's a side of me that can sometimes be terribly introspective, dark even. But I can only go down that hole so far before I'm reminded that, though all questions will never be answered, all injustices never made right, all relationships perfected, there are about a million things waiting for me to cherish and enjoy, right now, right here, if I'll just stop analyzing things and instead simply taste life for what it is. Then I find:

1. the beauty of sunshine this morning while running after a conspicuous absence of it over the past weeks for me, both here and in Europe.

2. the ducks at the lake

3. special Christmas coffee my son acquired from a favorite haunt of his, French pressed this morning into a glorious cup of Sumatra.

4. Christmas carols

5. cookies baking

6. cookie dough

7. good health

8. everyone having fun downstairs preparing gifts - doors closed, typewriter clicking, laughter

9. a house in which to live, the walls of which have now accumulated more memories than I'll ever be able to recall, most of them overwhelmingly positive and joy filled.

10. candles

11. ornaments hanging from a tree that testify to our family story, and God's faithful provision, sustaining mercy, and great gifts given us along the way.

12. the knowledge that tonight, friends will gather here for a tradition of singing carols, both in the house and in the neighborhood

13. the gift of Christ - freer, gladder, more generous and patient, than I'll ever fully know

...the list could go on, but I supposed I'll just stop and say that I hope God will open our eyes to the gifts that are all around us so that we simply stop for a day or two and enjoy them with gratitude.

Merry Christmas


At 24/12/07 16:46, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas, Uncle.

At 25/12/07 00:44, Anonymous jporter228 said...

thanks for your posts and your sharing tonight at Candlelight service. it's so good to be reminded that our Savior, Jesus, came in an unconventional and ordinary way, and that He continues to make His presence known in our lives in similar fashion. the big question is how can we consistently see Him and life through His eyes in the "mundane?" perhaps it's by coming to grips more of how much i need Him, and that the Gospel, the true Good News, is not just about a "conversion", but a surrendering of wills, and eyes, and embracing His love that He so desperately wants to share with us. an element of the Mystery of the Gospel.. (Ever read Brennan Manning's "Ragamuffin Gospel?")

the stench of that stable and the simplicity that is represented is powerful and symbolic. may we be mindful that despite that stench, and the sin that ensnared the human race, God chose to come anyway, so that we might have life.
may we celebrate and remember the Prince of Peace. As the Peanuts gang so greatly does year after year in enjoying Christmas (they've always been my favorite, especially Linus --complete with his blanket), "Christmas time is here."
Merry Christmas!


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