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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. Let's imagine a creative future with God and each other together. 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.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Cold December Flies Away

Today our temperature in Omaha reached 48 degrees. No snow. Downright balmy for a kid born in Duluth, MN. (I remember as a kid waking up in August hoping the rivers up north hadn't frozen that night so we could go fishing. August. Freezing. You don't understand the North Woods if those two words never get in the same sentence.)

So what's to fly away? (You can listen to a harpsichord version here. ) Bringing the classic folk tunes to your study or your Ipad.

Well the garden in the song is a garden, but it is also the human, the human community, and all that God has made for us. And the best parts of us often go into "hibernation," get cold, get frosty, and even a little dark. In the grace of the baby in the manger, the Son of God, the celebration of his birth (Christmas) sends those darker, colder, frostier parts away into the new warmth and love of Spring (Easter). So "cold" December flies away, and those parts of our lives that have been frosted over by despair, jealousy, fear, envy, greed, and pride(to name a few of those darker powers) can bloom in the ever increasing sunlight of our days. 

My wife often mentions that Christmas means the days are getting longer again. Soon those glorious long days of June will be causing me to wonder what time it is when it seems like we've had sun since yesterday?

But I still like December. (I am born in this month.) I don't want it to "fly away" necessarily. But it does fly away, but I wish it could stay around a bit longer too. I like the darkness (not the cold.) I like the more relaxed and calm evenings when I don't have to run around running errands or chasing pavement. (I've even been known to have a little bourbon on a calm evening when the darkness sets into the night.)

The Church has noted this ambivalence we have with December by giving us Advent. This is a time of waiting, a time of wondering, a time of holding the darker parts of lives in contrast to the radiant warmth of God's love in the baby Jesus. We get 24 days of Advent this year, and I hope you enjoy them for what they are...because there's a lot to do in these 24 days, and they will fly away. So will the cold. So will the despair. So will all the frostiness of our season. The birth of the Christ sends them all packing with his message of love, and the gift of freedom in his death and resurrection. Happy Advent.

May your tables be full and your conversations be true.

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