Friday, December 26, 2008

the real holy week

I have come to think of the days between Christmas and New Year's as "the real holy week". These are truly days that are set apart, and in some respect this is about the culture (of which the church is immersed) and its need to recover. We had a wonderful few days in the church leading to Christmas: we had two "Services of Lessons and Carols" on the fourth Sunday of Advent, and then we had four services on Christmas Eve. These are all complex and well-attended services. My sermon, which will be posted soon, was an attempt to connect Isaiah 9. 2-7 with Howard Thurman's "The Work of Christmas" and Evelyn Underhill's meditation on the relation between nativity and epiphany. I found Underhill's reflection in Watch For The Light, which is published by Plough, and which I recommend enthusiastically (in fact, you might order a copy from Amazon and have it available next Advent). That volume also includes a piece by Jurgen Moltmann on the Isaiah passage. It is a remarkable devotional volume.

At any rate, the services came to an end at about 12:30 early Christmas morning, and the mode has shifted. Our family decided this year, for a variety of reasons, some of them economic, some of them theological, to have small gifts in stockings on Christmas day, and then perhaps to give each other one larger gift on January 6 (and most of these are functional--a coat, a jacket, a watch). I had requested Chicago's Greatest Hits and Clyde Edgerton's The Bible Salesman; I am looking forward to enjoying both.

Our older daughter's college friend Uzma is with us, and so there were five of us, watching a couple of movies (one, "The Visitor", was very good) and some 30 Rock re-runs, alternately taking naps and clearing away stuff that we really don't need. I anticipate a slow pace in the next few days--venturing out to see a movie, maybe; traveling to see my mother in Ga; watching UNC on Saturday as they face West Virginia in the Meinecke Car Care Bowl (I am not making this up), and then the Panthers on Sunday in a must-win game.

I have posting occasionally on "Twitter" lately, and I like it. It is a nice place to post very brief comments, and a social network is gathering there.

As we continue to move through the Christmas season, I wish you the peace of the Lord!


Blogger Talbot Davis said...

I read The Bible Salesman as it is a recasting and expansion of an old Flannery O'Connor story and I did my undergrad work on O'Connor.

On the other hand, I can't say I share your enthusiasm for Chicago . . .

12:26 PM  

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