October 20, 2017

iMonk Classic: “Lo, How a Rose…” — Experiencing the Power of Beauty

“Lo, How a Rose” — Experiencing the Power of Beauty Classic iMonk post by Michael Spencer December 2004 It was Christmas of 1968. I was a seventh grader at Estes Junior High School. School was a huge part of my world. My father was beginning down the road to depression. I was an only child, […]

An Advent Tradition I Forgot to Mention

In 2008, Michael Spencer drew attention to a resource guaranteed to provoke wonder in our hearts and minds during Advent. I regret that I am late in pointing you to this Advent Calendar in 2012, but don’t let that stop you. Take a few moments each day to meditate on some of the most remarkable […]

Advent: The Process of Making a Way

They are working on our street now. Several years ago, we had a major flood in our town and now they are laying large drains under the street to prevent the kind of damage many local home and business owners suffered. In addition, they are using the opportunity to beautify the downtown area and our […]

The Darkness Of Advent

Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the voice of his servant? Let him who walks in darkness and has no light trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God. (Isaiah 50:10, ESV) Those who have been reading for a while know of my struggles with the feelings of darkness that, at times, seem to be crushing the […]

Return to Sister Winter

Tinsel and Lights by Tracey Thorn Merge Records (2012) You loved it as a kid And now you need it more than you ever did It’s because of the dark You see the beauty in the spark That’s why, that’s why The carols make you cry Joy, joy… Sentimentalism, in my view, is the enemy […]

Advent II: Sinai’s Last Thunder

ADVENT IIC Malachi 3:1-4 Luke 1:68-79 Philippians 1:3-11 Luke 3:1-6 Prayer of the Day Stir up our hearts, Lord God, to prepare the way of your only Son. By his coming give to all the people of the world knowledge of your salvation; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with […]

iMonk Classic: Riff on “The End of Advent”

Christmas has devoured Advent, gobbled it up with the turkey giblets and the goblets of seasonal ale. Every secularized holiday, of course, tends to lose the context it had in the liturgical year. Across the nation, even in many churches, Easter has hopped across Lent, Halloween has frightened away All Saints, and New Year’s has […]

It Always Comes Back to the Ending

Advent is about eschatology. That five dollar theological term simply means “the study of the eschaton” (the last day). The Bible divides time into two great epochs: this present age and the age to come. We live in the now; we await the not yet. Scripture anticipates the end from the start. When Genesis 1:1 […]

Advent I: Apocalypse Then. What about Now?

ADVENT IC Jeremiah 33:14-16 Psalm 25:1-10 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13 Luke 21:25-36 Prayer of the Day Stir up your power, O Lord, and come. Protect us by your strength and save us from the threatening dangers of our sins, for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. […]

Nativity

Nativity of Our Lord — Christmas Eve December 24, 2011 Isaiah 9:2-7 Psalm 96 (11) Titus 2:11-14 Luke 2:1-14 [15-20] Prayer of the Day Almighty God, you made this holy night shine with the brightness of the true Light. Grant that here on earth we may walk in the light of Jesus’ presence and in […]