Advent Day 10

If our lives are ruled by the spirit of Advent, this loving expectation of God, they will have a quality quite different from that of conventional piety. For they will be centered on an entire and conscious dependence upon the supernatural love which supports us; hence all self-confidence will be destroyed in them and replaced by perfect confidence in God.

Evelyn Underhill

Ah, self-confidence.  It is necessary and it is not sufficient.

Some of us struggle mightily to develop self-confidence.  Given our upbringing or our gender or our situation in life, sometimes we make a conscious effort to throw off the constraints that would make us small and choose instead to move with confidence into whatever the world might hold.

We work with our children to build a sense of their confidence.  Sometimes, in an attempt to protect ourselves from remembering our own young wounding, we seek to cocoon our children in a failure-free chrysalis, thinking that by shielding them from pain we are protecting and growing their beings.

Self confidence is a good thing.  And it is not sufficient, because we and our children are going to fail.  We are going to fall in spectacular ways off the pedestal of our own or our parent’s construction.  We will spend time wandering and wondering and nothing will feel familiar and in just such times the presence of something larger than our own surety is gift beyond price.

There will be times in life where self-confidence is laughable and confidence in God the only power that we draw upon; breath by breath, step by step.

We are Advent people.  We live – sometimes even mindfully – with a sense that there is more to life and star dance than our own will and being.

And we ground our very lives upon that love beyond us, don’t we?

As you mark this Advent day of waiting in the mystery, remember and give thanks for those times when you were lost and broken and frightened and somehow somehow somehow the song of the angel and the presence of God-With-Us led you to wholeness.

We walk in the mystery of Holy presence.

Thank God.






Today was Christmas Pageant day at Richfield UMC.  We had dozens of children help lead worship along with fabulous choral music, organ and piano soundings, and carrot cake cupcakes.  Our second service featured music that went into our hearts.  A young woman whom I have known since before she was born shared “Breath of Heaven” and my heart near melted with the wonder of her beauty and the message she shared.  The song narrates Mary’s questions and wonderings when she is told she is to bear new life.  Kayla sang it with her whole self.

I was able to visit one of our home bound members and share communion with him and his beloveds.  The communion set I used was one used by a beloved clergy friend who died a year-plus ago.  Loren was in the room with us as we remembered feasts shared by loving hearts throughout the ages.

And then, I baked cookies with my eldest daughter who didn’t correct me too many times.      Leah has become a wonder baker.  She long ago left her mother in the dust.  She was kind.

My tree is up.  It has no lights, but it is up.  I have many things to do.

But for now, for now I just want to let my heart slurp gratitude.  On this day, I believe the proclamation of the angel sung so long ago to a wildly courageous young Mary:  “With God, nothing is impossible.”

The song of the angel sings yet.  Children shine, communities gather, sweet smells waft, tables of grace are set and shared, and space to let gratitude be is now.