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Showing posts from December, 2010

Life in Greencastle - Merry Christmas

Way back when we were still wishing that the heat of summer would relent for awhile, my wife was planning to create something for these colder days of December. Anna had determined that this would be the year that she would create an Advent calendar and thereby give our kids a way to experience the gift of Jesus' coming in a whole new way. So, little by little, she began to make preparations. She was going to make a quilt, a quilt of several fabrics that would create a tapestry of days. And on each day there would be a tiny pocket that would become a type of daily stocking - delivering to Wyatt and Elise some gift or plan or project. They would have the chance to make treats for the birds one day. On another, they could make a popcorn string. On another still, they would read the second chapter of Luke. All of it was intended to help give life to the days we call Advent - the same Advent that gets dismissed about as easily as those poor misfit toys that Rudolp…

Instruments of God

Yesterday if you joined us for worship you had the opportunity to hear and participate in our annual Christmas Cantata. (If you weren't able to join us yesterday, then I invite you to contact Mark McKee or Andy Lorimer to get a copy of the performance). I really enjoyed and appreciated this year's cantata, as I know many of you did as well. Cheryl and Patrick did such a phenomenal job (as always) of readying and preparing the choir and the musicians.

As I listened to the songs and the readings yesterday, I thought about something Walter Wangerin Jr. wrote in his great book of meditations for Advent and Christmas, Preparing for Jesus. Wangerin reminds us that God is the music and that we are the instruments that God uses to make music to the world. Wangerin was speaking specifically of the individuals in the Christmas story who find themselves singing (and there is much singing in Luke's story of Jesus' coming and birth): Simeon's song and Mary's solo, the…

Once Again

I was turning to leave the small room of an elderly woman - waiting for her daughter and son-in-law to finish tying up some family business - when my eye began to wander. The woman had just pointed out to me a series of paintings she had done herself. She took me through them one by one, noting how she had matured and progressed in her understanding and practice of the art. I was particularly drawn to the painting that hung just over her window: a rather whimsical portrayal of daisies blowing in the wind. I could not get past the stark contrast between this endless summer scene in her painting and the stark reality of winter outside of her window. As my eyes descended from that painting, I turned my face towards the door. And as I did so, my gaze came across a short poem that was housed in a frame right before my face. It was simple in its adornment, and without reading it I read it. I did not need to read it. I scanned the title of the poem, "Footprints,&q…