#AdventWord 2020, Week 4

#Rejoice And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour.” (Luke 1:46-47) It’s become quite common for me to hear Mary’s Song, the Magnificat, spoken of as a revolutionary hymn; this wasn’t the case when I was young, though the air I breathed then was fragrant with Marian devotion. So it’s been incredibly eye-opening to be reintroduced to this part of the Christmas story in a very new light. The other trope I now see quite often this time of year is the enthusiastic bashing of “Mary Did You Know,” a sweet song … Continue reading “#AdventWord 2020, Week 4”

#AdventWord 2020, Week 3

#Go This year’s list brings back the series of words drawn from TEC’s #WayOfLove rubric—an interesting insight into where we were then & where we are now. Last year, I seem to have indulged in an extended reflection on the Dismissal, those words at the end of every Sunday service when we are called to “go in peace to love & serve the Lord.” I touched on Christ’s ascended body by way of something I must have been reading; it makes for a curious re-read, but my concerns today feel a million miles away from all that. Today, “go” just means “go”—or … Continue reading “#AdventWord 2020, Week 3”

#AdventWord 2020, Week 2

#Speak “Merciful God, who sent your messengers the prophets to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation: Give us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins, that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ our Redeemer; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.” (Collect prayer for the Second Sunday of Advent, Book of Common Prayer, p. 211) “Can God open our mouths? And if that were to happen, what would God have us say?” (Hugo Olaiz, from a reflection originally published by @fwd_mov & shared … Continue reading “#AdventWord 2020, Week 2”

#AdventWord 2020, Week 1

#Tender I’m not ready for Advent this year. Maybe it’s this prolonged pandemic, this extended Ash Wednesday bleeding through page after calendar page—in which case, I’d be somewhat relieved—or maybe it’s my growing familiarity with what goes on behind the curtains as the audience lines up for their caramel popcorn—a very real possibility I must contend with—either way, this year feels a little off, a little “gently out of time,” as one of Blur’s lesser-knowns goes. Today’s word is “tender” but unlike 2 or 3 years ago, this year, I know that today’s word is not tender—I understand the logic … Continue reading “#AdventWord 2020, Week 1”

#AdventWord 2019, Week 4

#Message A few days ago, I reconnected to my best friend from 15 years, whom I haven’t seen or spoken to in about half that time; we’d both moved around since that period when we’d hung out almost daily. We caught up, reminisced, & he eventually asked me if I’m on Instagram; I told him he’d be in for a shock. “So you believe in Jesus and God and all the beautiful things in the Bible now?” Yes. Especially the beautiful things. We didn’t say much after that, but our brief exchange on a profound shift in my life made … Continue reading “#AdventWord 2019, Week 4”

#AdventWord 2019, Week 3

#Turn Today’s the day we talked about “turning” at Epiphany Seattle. We touched on how “turn” is a code word for “repent,” that, yeah, they’re synonyms—technically, in the original languages—but are now more akin in my view to the relationship of “cheese” to “dessert”—they can be the same thing, and in some contexts they are, but we don’t often experience them the same way. We shared what these two flavors of the same idea—to turn, to repent—have meant in our own lives of conversion and change. And since ”turn” is the start of a whole series of words based on … Continue reading “#AdventWord 2019, Week 3”

#AdventWord 2019, Week 2

#Worthy “What is more harmful than any vice? Active sympathy for the ill-constituted and weak—Christianity.” That’s a quote from Nietzsche’s The Antichrist. Nietzsche understood what—& how—Christianity valued, and he vehemently rejected it for that very reason. To his eyes, Christianity is worthless because it values the unworthy. Interestingly enough, Nietzsche didn’t really attack the person of Jesus the Christ; he called Jesus the “only one true Christian.” But he certainly got the Christ he opposed all wrong, & without the doctrine of the Incarnation—without the Advent story—that’s easy to do. With no appreciation of that mysterious move from the infinite … Continue reading “#AdventWord 2019, Week 2”

#AdventWord 2019, Week 1

#Unexpected This color is a dark, grayish cyan, though one website calls it “juniper.” Sherwin-Williams markets it as “peacock plume”; I know this because I picked the paint out myself, using their swatch cards. It covers the walls of an office that I never planned to occupy, but—I think—I was meant to find. Last December, I told myself that I wanted to do the next #AdventWord for a church—to make church my day job. And here I am, taking a photo of the wall across from the desk in the church where I’m sharing words for Advent. There really wasn’t … Continue reading “#AdventWord 2019, Week 1”

#AdventWord 2018, Week 4

#Persist Today’s #AdventWord is ‘persist,’ & the finish line is in sight—two more sleeps & one more word ‘til Christmas. Thanks for sticking it out with me throughout this month; it felt nice to know that I was indirectly sharing that intimate part of my life with whoever took the time to skim through my daily reflections. Today’s sermon at St. Peter’s Episcopal Parish was about accompaniment—those acts of showing up & sticking by others, sometimes with words, but more often, in silent solidarity. The term will be familiar to anyone interested in Migrant Rights or Immigrant Justice—accompaniment in that … Continue reading “#AdventWord 2018, Week 4”

#AdventWord 2018, Week 3

#Rejoice Today’s #AdventWord is ‘rejoice,’ and I’m sharing a snippet of last night’s Christmas concert at Seattle First Baptist, which opened with a song of bittersweet anticipation: “Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.” This classic carol set the tone for the whole night, as bright jewels of the Western Christian tradition were cast against the dark backdrop of current affairs—tear gas at the borders, the words of women made lesser-than, people of color gunned down in the street with impunity. . . This sociopolitical interweaving may surprise some people, but Seattle First Baptist certainly made it sound … Continue reading “#AdventWord 2018, Week 3”