Thanks to you all for reading and responding this past year. Here’s a little Christmas greeting for you that asks the important question: What is Christmas to you?
Christmas to me, echoes the mystery
The sacred holy night
A grace so pure and bright.
In the “music” of this all-to-hard-to-find silence, I began to feel myself drawn in the direction of the master composer and musician, the One who brings all to life, throws beauty over the world like a prayer shawl, and invites us all to “waste time with him” every once in a while.
Gratitude, it seems to me, is the starting point for our lives of prayer, creativity and living well among others. But gratitude is easy to say and harder to live by because it’s hard work. Saying “thank you” to God and to others around us is the simplest thing to do and, yet, we so often forget to do it. Or don’t make time to do it. Or don’t make it a part of our daily experience.
As we near Christmas, we recall both the woundedness of our lives and the joy of the birth of the Christ, who came to bind up our wounds, heal our brokenness and fill the empty spaces in our lives.
May we take our work seriously and ourselves with a grain a salt, with a growing knowledge that we are only instruments waiting to be played, apprentices under the guiding hand of a master craftsman, young players in need of the maestro’s baton, glimmering pieces of shiny glass and refracted light in search of focus and unity, sparkling moments of inspiration awaiting meaning and purpose, self-knowledge that we are moons, not stars capable of our own energy and light.
ut how can this be? How can he believe?
That an angel came down from above?
Are there those not afraid to live by their faith?
Are there gifts as simple as love?
A Song for the Season: “Soft Light from a Stable Door,” a song based on a beautiful poem by the English poet Lilian Cox, recorded by Nathanael’s Creed.
This morning I came across a poem I wrote a few years ago in response to an act of friendship and concern on the part of a friend. I tweaked and tidied it up a bit (are poems ever really finished?) and maybe it will help someone today like his gesture helped me back then. Say thanks to a friend today for the small gifts of kind words and simple faith.
The point is this: We don’t really own the land. We are given the blessing of calling bits and pieces of it “home” for a while, but it belongs to the creator and to the lives of all who have touched it and worked it and walked it over the years.
So that’s my challenge to myself this lent – to come before God in prayer more often than I do now, and to present myself in that divine presence in a way that recognizes that God knows me better than I know myself anyway. No games, no baggage, no excuses, no masks. Just me, naked on the stage before him like a 300-year-old cello that cannot speak for itself but can only respond by vibrating to the working of the master’s hand.