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Showing posts from November, 2020

Advent 1

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The days are long. The nights are even longer. The anxiety overwhelming. The worry palpable. And yet, Sunday we light a candle; a candle we name Hope. We call it by this name because we have come to understand that what we see isn't all that is, and what we think we know is far from everything. We are called to live into the promise this small flame represents; living as if in a world of not yets. And so the season of waiting begins in Hope. -bshivers

The Difficulty of Giving Thanks

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In the midst of thanksgiving, let us not forget that there are those for whom giving thanks is incredibly difficult. For many, this is a season of acute sadness and a deep sense of melancholy not one of celebration. This is not because of a spirit of ingratitude or some lack of faith. It is really not the result of any one thing. It just is.  There is no need to try to remind them of all they "should" be thankful for. There is no need for another pithy meme or "meaningful" quote about the transformative power of being thankful. There is no need to try to cheer them up.  As much as we would like to think our well-meaning efforts are helpful, they really aren't. No matter how sincere they are, they can result in more feelings of inadequacy.  So what is one to do? That's the thing. There is nothing to do . Because no one needs to be "fixed" or have their perspective changed. Instead, this season, commit yourself to  be present with them in thoughtful

I Need Advent

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I must confess, it is really tempting to run headlong into the Christmas season this year. I mean, who doesn't want more light, more joy-filled music, more decorations, more "tidings of comfort and joy"?  The world feels so heavy right now. There days are shorter, yet somehow each one seems to last forever. Every 24 hours is full of more Covid cases, more hospitalizations, and more death. The news cycle is an incessant metronome of infection numbers, overburdened systems, and political drama. And yet simultaneously, each day seems to be an almost exact carbon copy of the day before, and the one before that, and the one before that, and the one before . . . Yes, we all desire the "good news of great joy for all the people". I know I do. However, what I think I really need this year is Advent. I need the waiting. I need the liminal space of the almost but not yet. I need the anticipation of something new. I need it because that is exactly where I am living every s