• Living the Season Well,  The Church Year

    Twelve Days of Christmas Begins on Christmas Day

    Christmas is a season, not just a day, in spite of the consumer-driven, gift-focused frenzy that surrounds December 25th. There is one calendar we are used to keeping time by, but as followers of Jesus, the church calendar provides a Christ-centered focus for our days. In the church year the Christmas season is marked by the birth of Christ as it should be, but that is only the beginning of the holidays. The Twelve Days of Christmas begin on Christmas Day ending on Epiphany January 6th. The season of Twelvetide (as it is sometimes called) is a slow walk into the new year and beyond, ending with the celebration marking…

  • Living the Season Well

    Can We Celebrate Santa Claus & the Savior?

    Weaving together the wonder of Christmas involves one part honoring the birth of our Savior and one part honoring the life of a saint. Nicholas, to be exact. Yes, we know whose birthday it is, but the fact is we get all the presents. It would be easy to blame our culture and their cashing in, literally, on the character of Santa Claus, but let’s not be so hasty. “As we wait for God to become incarnate, we look to the whole body of Christ, past and present, for models of embodied faith.” Beth Bevis, in “God with Us-Rediscovering the Meaning of Christmas.” One example of that ‘embodied faith’ was…

  • My Poems

    Plating the Bread of Life {a #poem}

    Bed askew with straw, rummaged       leftovers of the menageries’ last meal. A stone space quarried like the heart of a  small ark, opening just enough  to cradle the straw. The stall, open planks no match for the midnight  chill, gaps lasering light, streaming in on stone. Mother draped in simple cloth, teenaged hands trembling as she lays her infant  in the place of the animals’ meal. Suckling sounds as He stares, still, into the sky  where the host of Heaven lift voices  through the spheres Announcing His presentation,  which, as the young father recalls,  would at last be everything. Merry Christmas, friends.

  • My Poems,  The Church Year

    Anna Waits {a #poem}

    Light is coming she’d heard and read, and widowed, she had nothing calling her name but His across the years like an echo from The Garden so long ago. She’d been seeking (was He hiding?), steadfastly determined, for what else was her life but this–an always looking in the temple courts, trusting the doorway would be darkened some day when Light came into the room. (sharing from the Archives)

  • My Poems,  Poetry

    Dayspring From on High {a #poem}

      The Christ, as yet unchristened. The Word as yet unspoken. So His Mother announced instead, He has performed mighty deeds with  His arm; He has scattered those who are proud in the thoughts of their hearts. He has brought down rulers from their thrones, but has exalted the humble. He has filled the hungry with good things But has sent the rich away empty. He has helped His servant Israel, remembering to  to be merciful, as He promised to our Fathers to Abraham and his descendants forever.” It is written. It is said. It is done. Before our Lord’s first cry, we’d already won. ***** Mary’s song is from…

  • The Church Year

    Merry Christmas, Dear Readers

    It seems very fitting that Christmas Eve should be on a Sunday, when we gather for worship, wherever that is. A morning to set our hearts right in a posture of worship and thankfulness is a good way to ease into the gift giving and receiving activities before us, whether we gather tonight or tomorrow with family and friends. As I prepared my head and my heart this morning for church I found Handel’s Messiah on Youtube and through the miracle of livestreaming from my tablet, was able to listen on my Bluetooth speaker while I put on makeup in the bathroom. Yay, technology. There are 4 sections in the…

  • The Church Year

    Christmas: Mystery, Miracle or Magic?

    “Did not a great grey servant Of all my sires and me, Build this pavilion of the pines, And herd the fowls and fill the vines, And labour and pass and leave no signs Save mercy and mystery?”                                                 –G.K. Chesterton, from the Ballad of the White Horse, Book IV The holiday weeks are often heralded as the most wonderful time of the year; God knows we also W O R K to make it the most wonderful time of the year.  Unspoken pressures and unrealistic expectations—whether from others outside or inside ourselves—can back us into a corner and leave us, if not defeated, a little discouraged. We want magic…

  • The Church Year

    How Can I Get into ‘The Christmas Spirit?’

    “So take up what we’ve been given/ Welcome the edge of our days Hemmed in by sunrise and sunset/ By our youth and by our age Thank God for our dependence/ Here’s to our chasm of need And how it binds us together/ In faith and vulnerability This cup, this cup, I wanna drink it up To be right here in the middle of it Right here, right here, This challenging reality Is better than fear or fantasy” “This Cup”, Sara Groves I wish you could have seen our children’s ‘not-Christmas’ performance at church the other morning. “Joy is the flag flown high from the castle of my heart….” they…