Attending to Jesus

“Pay attention!” the teacher cried out as I gazed off into space. I was paying attention, but not to her. I was puzzling over whether or not I was from this planet or was merely visiting among these humans. Over the years, I’ve come to think children are quite good at paying attention, but not…

The Spirit of Christmas

Rev. Doug Floyd Each year, I hear at least one person say, “Are you in the Christmas spirit?” Or another might say, “I just don’t feel like Christmas this year.” Year after year the refrain rolls on. I’m not always sure what the “Christmas spirit” is or feels like. But I think it has something…

Advent – Hope Draws Near

Advent tears open the night like a flash of lightning hope. It sounds an alarm, awaking us from the stupor of struggle and toil. Our world is lulled to sleep by the droning of kings, the marching of boots, and the frenzy of crisis. Not just this age, but every age. When Hebrew exiles finally…

Remembering Our Story

Christmas lights are popping up in the neighborhood and holiday tunes dance through the stores. It’s time for the yearly gluttony of eating and buying. It’s also time for Advent, a season of repentance, focused on watching and waiting for the coming of the Lord. The call to devotion and the call to consume compete…

The Door of Advent

When I was little, we hung Advent calendars with little doors that opened for each day leading to Christmas. Then one day I stepped through one of those little doors. It was like stepping into a giant house. When I really discovered Advent, I discovered the church year and a way of walking through days…

Advent Resources

One of the best ways to enter into the rhythm of Advent is to sit still with the weekly lectionary readings. I like to read and revisit these readings each day, taking time to pray them, imagine them, listen to them. This helps me to develop the posture of watching and waiting. Below are the readings for all for weeks as well as a few recommendations for reading, watching, and listening.

Advent 1 (December 2) – Zech 14:1-9, 50:1-6, 1 Thess 3:6-13, Luke 21:25-33

Advent 2 (December 9) – Mal 3:1-5, Ps 126, 1 Cor 4:1-21, Luke 3:1-6

Advent 3 (December 16) – Zeph 3:14-20, Ps 85, Phil 4:4-9, Luke 3:7-20

Advent 4 (December 23) – Mic 5:2-5a, Ps 80:1-7, Heb 10:1-10, Luke 1:39-56

One of the earliest books I read on Advent, was a selection of poems from Ann Weems. Her conversational poems speak to our human longing and struggle to pause before the mystery of God’s coming. Alfred Delp and Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s sermons were written from Nazi prisons and carry the weight of a soul waiting for human judgment while looking for the coming of God in Christ. There are some paintings from across the ages that explore the nativity. One quick way to get started is by looking at Nativity on Wikiart (some pictures are not relevant but most are).

Meeting Noah

40 endless days bring an end to all that is: the rich green meadows, the sparkling streams that interplay with sunlight and stones, the towns bustling with life. Chaos overtakes calm; flood furies consume; mountains do fall into the sea Noah looks into the dark circling waters and sees his future. At least what should…

Meeting Cain

In the path of the cross, the journey back to my baptism, I see Cain walking away into the dark lands. He is walking through the wilderness, but he is not on pilgrimage. He is cursed to wander, a fugitive with no home, no family, no tribe. Eventually, he will build a city. This city…

Remembering the World

I recently entered into an older church for a meeting. The moment I stepped through the door, my senses were flooded with the smells, sights, and even the temperature of my childhood church. Though I had never set foot in this particular church, I felt like I was walking back through memories from over forty…