Read inspiring reflections from St. David’s clergy each week. Letters are posted on Thursday afternoons.
Find them here, or linked in our Friday morning emails.
I hope you all are well on these chilly days. I was meditating recently on this verse from Psalm 42, it’s a favorite of mine. The image it brings to my mind is so peaceful and calming. As I meditate I can almost hear these flowing steams.
I pray that you and yours are safe and well and warm on these very cold January days. Winter is not always my favorite season of the year, but as the sun starts to come back and the days grow longer, I gain a sense of hope and promise for what is to come.
In this new calendar year and in the midst of this ongoing pandemic, I’ve been thinking about the quality of my life and yours. It’s not that I’m trying to come up with New Year’s resolutions several weeks late, but more of a sense of how I want to go through my days, moment to moment. Maybe it’s more of having a certain attitude about life in general and how that colors the way I act with people specifically.
I pray that you and yours are safe and well and warm on these cold January days. I pray, too, that some of the light of Christmas continues to shine in your life to give you hope and to allow you to bring hope to others. For the light of God that is in us, however small or dim, brings light to our lives and to the lives of everyone around us.
We are living in a year in which we are focusing on Faith Matters. It’s the theme or focus we’ve taken up for the year as a way to learn more about our faith in terms of what we Christians believe about God and how we are to live our lives…
Yesterday, January 6, we remember two anniversaries. In our church calendar it is the Feast of the Epiphany, where we celebrate that God’s Messiah, Jesus Christ, was made visible to all the peoples of the earth. Yet our church celebrations do not happen separated from our earthly time.
It feels a little like an elephant in the room to not name that January 6 is the one-year anniversary of the insurrection at the US Capitol. Last year, and throughout the entire pandemic it feels like there have been several epiphanies, revealings or uncoverings, and not all of these are positive.
Merry Christmas! We’re still right in the middle of this Christmas season, no matter what the secular world tells us, but also, Happy End of 2021!
I am not sure if I should say that with excitement and joy, tentative trepidation, a sigh of relief. I do say Happy End of 2021 and Happy 2022 with faith that God is going to keep showing up no matter that 2022 will bring.
But I am pretty sure that many of you, like me, are okay with the year 2021 ending.
Christmas is all about hope. When we are little our Christmas hope is drawn to a special toy or video game. We yearn for Christmas to come in anticipation of the presents under the tree. As we grow up, our Christmas hope is drawn to different “toys” and gifts of the day. The different toys and gifts begin to include the hope we give to others by the sharing of physical signs of our love for them. Even the lights and decorations that spring up in these winter days are signs of hope: the hope that Christmas will come and continue to bring light and beauty into our worlds. All through life, Christmas is all about hope.
This Advent we have shared many wonderful experiences as we have prepared our hearts for the coming of the Son. As the waiting grows shorter, I am reminded of a wonderful old story I heard many years ago, a story that sums up these last few days of Advent anticipation. I have no idea who first told it, but for me this story brings all into focus.
The story is about a father and son who were devoted art collectors. Their love of art was only eclipsed by their love for one another. As we might expect, when the young man was called off to war, there was much anxiety and many tearful farewells….
Our Advent observances are well underway, and I am sure that you thoroughly enjoyed this year’s Christmas Market. Of particular interest to me was “The Bethlehem Petting Zoo.” I so enjoyed watching my young friends from St. David’s Episcopal Day School delight in the animals. It all reminded me of the wonderful book my friend The Rev. Geneva Butz wrote in 1988 about her experiences with the Christmas Crèche at Old First Reformed Church at Fourth and Race Streets in Philadelphia. The book is called Christmas Comes Alive! and is full of stories of Geneva’s experiences with the live animals, from the time the farmer dropped them off until Christmas Eve.
Preparing our hearts and lives for God to enter in is part of the Christian life in every season. God is always inviting us to prepare some space in our lives for God to come in. It’s part of the wonder of God’s love that God is ready to come into our lives at any time. Yet, God also respects our free will so much that God will only come in when invited or when we take physical steps to make room for God. So, in this season of Advent, we are all called to make a space, to prepare a way, to make some choices about how we are living so God can come in.
“The Lord went in front of them in a pillar of cloud by day, to lead them along the way, and in a pillar of fire by night, to give them light.” Exodus 13:21 Easter SeasonSermon Video Click below to hear The Rev. Frank Allen's Sunday sermon preview for the Fourth...