As we moved from Advent and into Christmastide, I pray you have had many meaningful experiences of Christ’s Presence and the peace that passes understanding. And as we move into 2017 and through the twelve days of Christmas, may you continue to open gifts of grace and discover new depths of gratitude.
We shared in many sacred moments on our yearly Christmas journey “over the river and through the woods” to both grandfather’s houses in Arkansas (both beloved grandmothers died several years ago.) As I hung the 20+ stockings up for each family member who has celebrated at the old Miles home over the decades, many of us were aware that this could be the last gathering there since Beka’s father had to move into assisted living about six months ago. The day before, we celebrated Christmas at the house my father moved into when he was 12, I moved into when I was 9, and my sister now lives (the house that my architect grandfather designed and built in 1945.) We enjoyed especially the full-of-wonder moments when we played with that grandfather’s 4-year-old great great grandson Nate, watching him laugh with delight, and being held in the old and brand new traditions. More than any time before, this year we were aware that we are dwelling on a threshold that holds both the old and the new.
Old stories pondered and shared with family and friends seem to help deepen our roots and nurture new visions through gratitude and grace. With the help of Facebook, I was reminded yesterday that four years ago Tom and Linda McDermott came by the old home in Hot Springs, and we had a delightful time together walking through the nearby Garvin Gardens light display. This year, as we drove back into DFW two days ago, Beka reminded us that on that day last year a tornado had just ripped through the area fifteen minutes before. (Unfortunately it was tragic for many people in its path, some who are still recovering. Thankfully, about 20 minutes before we had stopped to eat at a Cracker Barrel about that time because the skies looked so threatening.)
Now, looking forward, I’d like to offer this reflection by Parker Palmer from two years ago at this time, along with a gift of song from Van Morrison written back in 1982.
Grace and peace on the journey into and through 2017!
Dweller On The Threshold
This “New Year” thing is a curious fiction, isn’t it? The planet on which we’ve hitched a ride has been wheeling through space a lot longer than 2,014 years. And the hoopla we make at midnight on December 31st is a tad over the top for one more tick of the clock.
But this annual ritual allows us to imagine that maybe, just maybe, we’re on the threshold of something new and better — and some of our imaginings might come true, depending on what we do. Read more.