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Omaha, Nebraska, United States
I am more and more convinced that most congregations die from a staggering lack of imagination. Let's change that. Drop me a line on email or leave a comment if you have thoughts on God, Jesus, congregations, the church or whatever.... I look forward to our conversations.

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Melancholic season

The sun is blindingly white off the hoarfrost of the trees, and without a cloud in the sky the blue seems to stretch to eternity...who could be sad in such a place?

Well, I could, and a few others too I imagine (those with Seasonal Affective Disorder will find little to cheer about in a winter trapped indoors), and whether it is a full-blown case of the blues, or just the general ennui that comes from living in an extreme climate (and really, even if climate change is something we just noticed, who doesn't live in extreme places anymore? Weather sucks everywhere...well, except maybe Hawaii, but then it never changes much...and who wants that?)

But what makes a place a "place," what makes a house a "home," for example...has more to do with memory and the people in your life than we imagine...So when I say I was happy in Walt Disney World, what I mean was that the place (WDW) provided me the time and space to spend with my kids at an age when they were still charming...and did not cost as much. (Little did I know at the time!)

I ran into a guy at the gym the other day who recognized me as the pastor who confirmed him eight years ago...and I remembered his "place" (I always asked the kids--who were sophomores in high school--what their favorite place was.), and his place was "Flathead Lake" in Glacier Park. He was amazed that I remembered, and I was amazed that it was still his favorite place...but then, why wouldn't it be? If you have a spot where all your friends, your family, the good things that happened to you occur...why would you forget it? You may add others to it over the years (he is still young), but it will never vanish as your "spot."

I wonder sometimes if Jesus ever asked his mom and dad about his birthplace? How did it happen again, Dad? Why were we in Bethlehem? What was mom doing with all the angels and shepherds? I mean it would seem that such a place would be forever remembered fondly...yet, of all the things he talked about, he never talked about that...so maybe it wasn't his favorite place...maybe we'll never know his favorite place...but we know our favorite place of his: here, with us, in the water, in the bread, in the wine, and in the words...Never sad no matter how painful--because we have the memory and his person in every place. And who can be sad when Jesus is around?

May your tables be full and your conversations be true.

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