Should Auld Acquaintances Be Forgot...

I decided to look up the verses of Auld Lang Syne and found its wikipedia entry to be quite helpful and it made me all reflective and sniffly and well, it wasnt pretty.

As i look back on this year and all the goods and bads done by/to me. I have realized that sometimes i'm the auld acquaintance that needed to be forgot and sometimes i have auld acquaintances that i need to forget. Either way both are painful.

But without pain, there is no growth, and sometimes there is no healing.

I was reading through Job and then switched to selected parts in Revelation. And i realized that there are some parts of the Bible that aren't meant to be read in winter...cuz they depress me. Well except for Revelation 21. The whole new earth, new life stuff....yeah i like that!

Getting back to pain...

Job was rewarded for his faithfulness, but he had to suffer. But some people suffer and aren't rewarded until they get to sit at the feet of Jesus. And some friendships are broken and never healed. There is all sorts of talk about being reconciled to one another, but if that's not possible, when do we pick up the pieces and move on? Especially when some people use silence as a form of punishment?

Ack, New Years always gets me moody and thoughtful. So anyways, this year sucked, lets hope the next year is better!


Here's to new life and new beginnings!

This past Sunday i taught 2nd and 3rd graders the Christmas story. Using Luke 2:1-20, I tried to get them to see how difficult life was. I tried to show them how far Mary and Joseph had to travel to get to Bethlehem, I tried to get them to see how hard it would've been for pregnant Mary to travel. But with the lure of a Veggie Tales video and coloring books, i lost the battle, and as one kid pointed out "we're not parents!".

And yet....

Afterwards, some kids shared with me their own anxieties about the times. Some have lost allowances. Some have noticed fewer presents. Some have heard their parents fight for the first time. I realized i'd missed my opportunity to make the Christmas story relevant to the kids. While they dont have to make long physical journeys they are making difficult emotional journeys this year. Some of my kids will have to grow up quickly, some have lost their comforts and privileges, and some will be happy with whatever gifts they get under the tree.

And so as we prepare to celebrate the coming of Jesus and the end of Advent. I hope that you have found comfort and friendship during your journeys especially on the difficult paths that some of you have traveled this year.I pray that you will be able to close some difficult chapters and find strength, energy and communities to help you with the new paths that await you in the coming year.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year


Its always darkest before...

In reading through all the newspapers online today i found myself increasingly depressed. With obvious corruption and depression and bailouts... oh my!

And here in the middle of advent, when i'm forced to reflect on the Christmas story, i have found it to be more relevant than ever before. The Jews were living in tough times. They had been through several revolts. The Romans had invaded, desecrated the temple. Now they had a corrupt and possibly insane ruler over them. A ruler who was not chosen by the Jews, but by the Romans. So on a warm spring night, Joseph loaded up his very pregnant fiancee, onto a donkey and headed to Bethlehem. ( I always found it interesting that the literal translation of Bethlehem is house of bread, but i digress...) Worse, the child wasn't even his. Joseph was facing not only a disruption in his life, but a major life change. Yet still he honored his obligations and headed back to the city of his birth to take part in the census.

Many of us are facing a similar circumstances. Its hard to find hope in the night and in winter its dark around 5pm! Today's reading for my advent devotional is Isaiah 11:1-5 An apt reading for these difficult times. There is a part of me that wonders if what we're experiencing is the hangover after a long time of partying without restrictions. Like the ancient Jews who read this passage, we are looking for a "shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse" who will
" ... will not judge by what His eyes see,
Nor make a decision by what His ears hear;
But with righteousness He will judge the poor,
And decide with fairness for the afflicted of the earth;
And He will strike the earth with the rod of His mouth,
And with the breath of His lips He will slay the wicked."

For some that shoot is named "Barack". For those who dare call themselves Christians, we believe the shoot was named Jesus. (Christ is a title, not a name)

So where am i going with this... Well i do have hope that the new administration can change things around. But I also know that Barack is human and suffers from all too human limitations. He's just a hell of a lot smarter than me! But I also can settle into my long held belief and hope that God will interact with current events and show us not only the error of our ways, but his love and joy in his creation and moves us all safely into the house of bread.

In the meantime, i'll continue to pray for the idiots that got us here and hopefully the idiots who'll get us out!