The blogging malaise continues. At this rate, I may start posting some of my sermon material. Would that be too pretentious? I suppose I could post it without saying it’s sermon material, but I’m sure it would be riddled with tells.
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On Sunday my thoughts for the sermon were based around the question, Jesus is born; now what? Took a while to find direction for that one. The business of preparing for Christmas and various Christmas events made it (ironically) hard for me to focus, but I did finally put it together.
In recent years it has not only bothered me that I fall into the “what am I getting?” Christmas mindset, neglecting the sacred element of Christmas for the materialistic in spite of good intentions at the beginning of the Advent season, but it also has started to bother me that Christmas in practice begins and ends on December 25 (in spite of the 12 days the Christian calendar gives it). Boxing Day is shopping day and then life goes back to normal.
But Christmas signifies a beginning–it signifies that God is on the move–and Jesus, when he calls us to “follow me and I will teach you to fish for people”, invites us to participate in the new thing that God is doing. So really, unless we really don’t get it, life could not or should not ever go back to “normal” after Christmas. Christmas is not the end but the beginning.
I believe this to be true. But I commented to someone after the service that I felt like a bit of a fraud when I wrote and preached the sermon, because if history is any indication, my life is likely to go back to “normal” after Christmas. Frustrating. I suspect I don’t fully “get” it yet.
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I’ve been thinking about how fast the beginning of 2009 will pass. Next week I have a normal work week. On Wednesday of the following week, I fly out to Summerland with Olivia to visit my family for a couple of days. The Monday following Luke goes for ear and throat surgery. Shorter work week. The week following that is a normal work week. Then I fly out to Chicago for a week (provided my passport application isn’t rejected) for a church conference. Then it’s almost the middle of February. In the middle of all that I have a couple of sermons to preach (which inevitably requires evening preparation time) plus seminary work to do (on top of “normal” obligations). In March Luke turns 4; in April Olivia turns 2 and Dixie turns 30. April may also include another trip to BC. Then in May I’ll be struggling to get everything done for the June 10 deadline for my seminary course. And who knows what summer and autumn have in store.
2009 will pass very quickly.