Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A World Changed

First breaths, first sounds. Emmanuel. God is with us. Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Longest Night

The Winter Solstice: from the dawn of humanity, it has been an event to be noticed. Many cultures and religions have traditions and rituals which focus on the this moment of transition. Even our own Christmas date of December 25th has more to do with a proximity to the Solstice than the day Jesus may have actutally been born. There was a time in the first years of Christianity, where it was a crime within the Roman Empire to be Christian. It may very well be the case that members of the early church choose to piggy-back their celebration of Jesus' birth on to the cultural solstice celebrations, so that they would be less likely to be noticed.

Winter is a hard time, now-a-days. Imagine how much more so in agrarian-based societies. Even go back 100+ years and winter was simply a time to be survived. The solstice was a key marker on that path of survival. The sun would be out longer, maybe only a few minutes each day, but the message of the solstice is that, it is inevitable that spring will arrive.

Christmas is marketed as a season of joy and celebration (by society and the church), but the full pictire is that joy is never fully apart from despair and celebration is always accompanied by suffering. This time of the year, for some of us, is symbolized by the long dark night.

But we are not alone, even in the darkness. What has come into being through [the Word] was life and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not overcome it. (John 1:3b-5).

Tomorrow's night won't be as long!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

I've got to start somewhere

I thought I'd set up this blog and see what comes of it. As I write, it's five days before Christmas and I am trying hard to stay focused on the holy coming in to the world.