The history of humanity is fraught with pain–especially the pain that comes accompanied by fear and leads to oppression and violence of one people against another. This is the world into which Jesus was born and through which his teachings would challenge and call for transformation.
The opening words of an anonymous Jewish poet, “I believe in the sun, even when the sun is not shining,” were scrawled on a wall during the Holocaust. This theme song for our season calls us to examine our penchant for annihilating fear by annihilating each other.
The power of narrative and music will call us to a different response- transformation and reconciliation through hope, love, joy, and peace. This Advent and Christmas, let us fill the night with music and light and affirm and act on the reasons why we can still “believe, even when” we are discouraged.
December 27th Believe This…The Time Has Come
Drawing from the great theologian and mystic, Howard Thurman’s poem, “The work of Christmas,” we will dive into “what now?” as we explore how we might live our beliefs.
December 20th I Believe in the Light…Illuminating Peace
This Sunday we will imagine and move toward practicing the peace that the prophets dreamed of and Christ brings. And if you have never heard of the group “Sweet Honey In the Rock,” you are in for a treat!
December 13th I Believe In God…Even When God is Silent
We talked today about “Following the Ninth.” You can watch Kerry Candaele’s film here:
This week we turn to Luke’s writing which is an account in two acts: the Gospel biography of Jesus and then the story of the early church–the “Jesus community.” Whether you were a Jew or Gentile in those days, deciding to become a part of this illegal early Christian movement could bring punishment for your allegiance. Surely the message in both Luke and Isaiah that the downcast, lowly, and oppressed would rise up is a welcome and inspirational account. Like the Jewish exiled people of Isaiah’s time and the early Christians, we also sometimes wonder where God is in our suffering. We long to hear the promise that a reason for joyful praise is the good news on the way!
I Believe In Love…Even When I Can’t Feel it
In both the Gospel of Matthew and Isaiah, a messenger appears as a sign from God, heralding a new era. In each passage, the words “do not be afraid” appear… offering a clue that the messenger–whether prophet or angel–was referencing something that induced fear in the recipient. A new way of being, of relating and loving takes courage– eschewing the present order of things so that a new and better day can be born.
I Believe in the Sun…Even When It’s Not Shining
Here is an extended trailer for Defiant Requiem, that we referenced today: