Eastering

Centering

“Christ eastering within us means we have a new center and core from which we live. We now live Christ’s life. Easter is more than a day, an event, a remembrance. It is a way of life”.  ~Michael Marsh, in his blog  Interrupting the Silence..

My life gathered new meaning when I began to understand the word Easter as a verb, not just a noun.

So what would it mean for you if you knew Easter as a verb rather than a noun? How would your life be different?

“Let him easter in us, be a dayspring to the dimness of us.” Gerard Manley Hopkins

Other Bells

At the New Year

In the shape of this night, in the still fall
        of snow, Father
In all that is cold and tiny, these little birds
        and children
In everything that moves tonight, the trolleys
        and the lovers, Father
In the great hush of country, in the ugly noise
        of our cities
In this deep throw of stars, in those trenches
        where the dead are, Father
In all the wide land waiting, and in the liners
        out on the black water
In all that has been said bravely, in all that is
        mean anywhere in the world, Father
In all that is good and lovely, in every house
        where sham and hatred are
In the name of those who wait, in the sound
        of angry voices, Father
Before the bells ring, before this little point in time
        has rushed us on
Before this clean moment has gone, before this night
        turns to face tomorrow, Father
There is this high singing in the air
Forever this sorrowful human face in eternity’s window
And there are other bells that we would ring, Father
Other bells that we would ring.
Kenneth Patchen, “At the New Year” from Collected Poems. Copyright © 1939 by Kenneth Patchen.

Christmas Ponders

When I was a little girl, I thought Christmas should always be on a Sunday. It seemed right to go to church for Christmas, to sing carols, to hear “Merry Christmas” from friends who gathered there. For the last 25 years, we have loved being in a church that celebrates Advent and also always has a Christmas eve communion and candle service. Any day of the week Christmas comes, the gift of Christ’s coming burns in my heart beyond all the gathering and cooking and gifting.  This year the calendar said Christmas Eve on Sunday,  timing I loved. Today is the 26th. It is quiet. I see some Christmas trees already out for trash and some are already removing lights and decorations.

I will keep Christmas. Decorations and lights will stay for awhile, but I will keep Christmas. The spark that is lit with the candles and carols must light something within me that stays. It will never be something I can clear away and put in a box. So like Mary, I treasure the gift and mystery of Christ’s coming – my Christmas ponders.

But Mary treasured up all these words and pondered them in her heart” Luke 2:19

 

 

 

Advent Wonder

 First Baptist Church, Richmond, TX  December 8, 2017

A few days ago, a rare (for this area) snowfall briefly covered our homes, our gardens, and our church. Young and old rushed to the windows to watch as flakes began to drift down.  Later, the rushing was to go outside, to lift faces and palms to the wonder. I often think just when I need the sense of wonder quickened, a gift like this comes to do just that. Wonder at snowfall or the tiniest dewdrop glistening on a rose petal is a nudge to be open, to remain open-eyed, to be receptive to the fullness and expectancy of Advent.

Wonder is the only adequate launching pad for exploring this fullness, this wholeness, of human life. Once a year, each Christmas, for a few days at least, we and millions of our neighbors turn aside from our preoccupations with life reduced to biology or economics or psychology and join together in a community of wonder.The wonder keeps us open-eyed and exceeds our calculations, that is always beyond anything we can make.  ~ Eugene Peterson

Weathered

I did not take this photograph; I do not know where it was taken.  It found me. I kept returning to it to think of its story. How many hymns were sung by the faithful in this country chapel? How many wedding vows repeated as families began?  How does the color of the glass glow when lit from inside at twilight?

I am grateful for those stories, the message of endurance told by weathered wood and stained glass.

 

 

 

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