Thursday, December 18, 2008

Could be the Blues?

This week has included…
…the disruption of our foster daughter.
…presiding at a difficult funeral for a young man.
…my brother’s apartment robbed.
…a dear friend going through a painful divorce.
…and the weather’s not helping much, either.
...[etcetera, etcetera, etcetera]

Yet in thy dark streets shineth the everlasting light,
The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.

Yesterday there was a radio guy who encouraged listeners to call my children’s school in order to call them “communist” and “godless” because the parties they have scheduled for this week are being called Winter Parties instead of Christmas Parties. How weak does one’s faith have to be to believe that the birth of Christ is somehow threatened by the name of an elementary school party? And what would motivate someone to disrupt the routine of an elementary school by flooding the office with annoying phone calls? And how would that be a good Christian witness, exactly? ... [rant averted]

No ear may hear his coming, but in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive him, still the dear Christ enters in.

Okay, Okay, Okay - - - I get it. Life happens. God is good. Christ is born. All that stuff.
I know that in my head. I suppose that I have been caught in the middle of the juxtaposition of the good news and the real world. When I get stuck in a place like this, the only thing that works for me is to just keep singing.

O morning stars together, proclaim the holy birth,
And praises sing to God the King, and peace to all on earth!

I love "O Little Town of Bethlehem." It covers "hopes AND fears." I've got plenty of both today.


Anonymous said...


By experiencing disruption, death, endings, intrusions, etc we can appreciate stability, presence, beginnings, peace and contentment, security, etc to their fullest. (And, I know you are fully aware of this - someone once (or a bazillion) said "If it is repeated, it must be important."

The hard stuff all at once has to be very unsettling - not to mention that they have occurred during the season where the rule is "everyone should be happy, at peace, and in a mood of celebration".

Know that you and the family are in our prayers.


Stephanie said...


Much as I have desired it through the years, God didn't give me the gift of music. (That's part of why I always liked going to church - I not only got to sing, but as a United Methodist, I was encouraged to sing out loud!) But, through the most difficult times of my life, when I spent hours awake through the night, the hymns of the church were always with me. When I couldn't pray, I could always sing. May the songs of the community continue to fill the gaps for you this Advent and Christmas. Love and joy to you.

Kansas Bob said...

Sorry for the bad week Andy. I sometime think that life is all about our reactions to the etceteras - not that I like it.

bridger said...

"...are met in Thee tonight!"

I try to remember that "all the years" includes the ones that we live today.

Mark Lowry of the Gaither Vocal Band say his favorite part of the Christmas story in Luke is the very first part.... "and it came to pass...." Whatever comes, it eventually comes to pass, except for the Kingdom of God.

Joy to the world, the Lord is come.
Have a Deeply Joyful Christmas.

Anonymous said...

I want to put something deep or witty, but alas nothing comes to mind. I want to say a lot of things to make you feel better or encourage you to have a littler more hope that things will be beautiful, but I don't have those words either. so all I can say is that you are in my prayers, yep that is cliche all right, but I mean it.

peace, love, and all that other mushy christian stuff


Joe Barone said...

"O Little Town of Bethlehem" is my favorite carol. It testifies to the quiet, almost unobrtusive working of God--

"No ear may hear His coming,
"But in this world of sin,
"Where meek souls will receive him still,
"The dear Christ enters in."

And it also proclaims that we have a part in what is essentially God's action--

"O holy Child of Bethlehem
"Descend to us, we pray
"Cast out our sin and enter in
"Be born to us today."