Showing posts from December, 2010

Flight Into Egypt

I love this painting by Caravaggio of Mary asleep, with the baby Jesus in her arms, as Joseph holds a score for an angelic violinist. I love it because of the calm eye of the donkey, the weary look on Joseph's face, and the presence of God (as represented by the angel) as comforter and purveyer of beauty in the midst of a refugee family's all to real and present nightmare. I love it because Mary's face is serene and the baby clearly thriving on her milk and his family's love. And as I contemplate this artwork I find myself reflecting on what this time in Mary's life must have been like.

I do not know the specific's of postpartum ritual in the 1st century. But, I imagine that in her hometown Mary would have been surrounded by women, quick to offer advice and assistance. When labor pain set in, other women, her mother perhaps, would have gathered around her and guided her through each contraction. As she anticipated putting the baby to breast for the fir…

Christmas With Our Baby

What wondrous love is this, o my soul, o my soul, what wondrous love is this, o my soul...

Truly a good day. May the blessings of Christmas spring forth for all of you.

Santa Baby...

No, not the song, the Santa and THE Baby. Yup, Jesus. Recently in Sunday School (Children's Chapel to us) I had to clarify that Santa was not born on December 25th. On the spot, I told the kids that Jesus was born on December 25th and Santa only exists because Jesus exists.

Which, is true. No Jesus, No Santa (reads like a bumper sticker!). And, as I stumble further into the Christian mama blog world (which is a peculiar one to say the least) I come across more and more folk who are vehemently anti-Santa. This has caused me to reflect greatly on what/how/why we will teach our son about Christmas. And, I have decided (we, really) to go ahead and embrace Santa as a family, as a family with a priest mama that faithfully attends church and holds Christ at the center of it all. Santa and THE baby are not incompatible in our household--let me explain why.

Regardless of how one feels about the guy in the big red suit, he has become central to most American's understanding …

Whistling in the Dark, An Advent Reflection

“This is a direct act of hope, to look through the cloud, and look for a beam of the light from God; and this is called in scripture, “rejoicing in tribulation”, when “the God of hope fills us with joy in believing”: every degree of hope brings a degree of joy.” -Jeremy Taylor

Whistling in the dark--a subversive act in which we use the power of a simple and somewhat ridiculous act, whistling, in order to remove the power of darkness to fear and weaken us. Could it be said that rejoicing, year after year, in the birth of a child who will die on the cross is, in and of itself, an act of whistling in the dark?

Do you ever find yourself “whistling in the dark”?

Maui, An Advent Meditation

We cannot survive without light. And, as the days grow shorter we find ourselves in darkness far too often. Thus, we find ways in which to endure the long days ahead—with light. Brightly peering through the darkness we see light cast from candles, and fireplaces, light from the porch to greet us at the end of the day, warm and filling food to fill our bellies, lights strung from our houses and shops. As I contemplated the role of light in our lives I found myself recalling a story from my own childhood:

The sun was too quick in its daily work, swiftly crossing the sky and leaving little time for those down below to accomplish their daily tasks. In particular, this brought much consternation to an elderly woman on an island in the middle of the Pacific ocean. One day, as she hung out the freshly washed Tapa cloth to dry she complained to her grandson about the sun’s swift course and how her cloth would not be able to dry in the short period of time that the sun was shining. Now, …

Advent meditations: Halley's comet

I wrote 12 meditations for Advent for our parish Advent calendar...I will post some of them here as well.

In 1986, when I was eight years old, I began to understand the finitude of human life when it is juxtaposed with the universe--heady stuff for a second grader. It was late at night, much later than I was usually allowed to stay up, and my entire family had gathered at the summit of Mount Haleakala to observe the passing of Halley’s comet. It was cold at the 10,000 foot elevation and we were crammed with a great many other people in the observatory perched above the cinder filled caldera. I huddled next to my grandmother and craned my neck in order to see. A bright star traced across the sky and I was silent with the magnitude of the night, the cold and this star that moved and caused the usual rules to be suspended. It was then that my grandmother turned to me and told me that she would be dead when this star crossed our skies again. I was not saddened by this news, but rath…

Advent 2A, The Wild Angels

Tomorrow is the first rehearsal for our annual Christmas pageant. Held during the 4pm Christmas Eve service, our pageant has traditionally been the classic Christmas card vignette. The adorable lambs, the sweet angels--and I promise that we will have both this year--mother Mary so meek and mild; the somewhat embarrassed to be up there Joseph, shepherds keeping their watches....and the silent stars at night.

The pageant, sweet as a Christmas card with the added ahhhh factor of lambs crawling off and baaing mama; angels with halo’s askew and beautiful music. But, this year, this year we’ve decided to really take a look at what was so frightening to the shepherds in the field. Yes, this year the pageant will offer both the innocent sweetness of our littles gowned and halo’d and the edgy tension of our rock star styled heavenly beings...the kinds of angels that inspire fear and awe. Not so little, not so sweet--these are angels out of scripture. These are angels that would make yo…