I apologize for the lame finish on the Advent blogs...one would think they'd run all the way through (or at least up to) Christmas, right? I certainly thought so. But the days right before and immediately after Christmas were such a nonstop mashup of horrific developments, followed by beautiful moments (a full-on battle between good and evil), I could barely keep up with it in real time. I had no shot at forming coherent blog posts. Sorry about that. Thanks for understanding.
Let's talk about this new year. 2013. Finally.
He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not, this was a gathering of many of the people you met on those pages. We ate chowder, drank mimosas, watched small children play in the snow and caught up on life. Then in the afternoon we sang worship songs with our friends Paul and Andy accompanying us on a ukulele (Yes, you read that right, and yes it was as hilarious and awesome as it sounds, with Paul searching for chord translations on his iPhone. When you find a crowd where someone travels with a ukulele in the middle of the Boston winter - stick with them. It won't be dull.)
Part of what made this gathering so special was that it was a homecoming of sorts. We've drifted apart over the past two years, since the church where we did life together started a long collapse. We've all been scattered, searching for new church homes and struggling with God to make sense of so many things. It has been painful. And yet...
(This is my New Year's realization, by the way: how humanity's walk with God can be summed up in variations on this theme: We've been scattered...searching for home and struggling with God to make sense of so many things. It has been painful. And yet...)
Let's talk about And Yet. I saw it yesterday, in a living room filled with friends who have shared years of a journey together. We've missed a lot of the day-to-day lately, but we hold each other's "big pictures"-- the larger narrative arc. We know enough history of what God has done in each of our lives to say, "I remember when God was talking to you about this...and then this happened...and now you're here and doing this...I wonder if maybe...?" and then pray together, helping one anther hold on and hope and trust. It was good to be reminded that our spiritual "home" isn't a specific place; it's wherever we're together, looking for God.
My hope for 2013 is to point my eyes (ears, heart, mind) to the And yet. To look for it. To expect. To know that I know that I know that God's plan is a good one, and it's unfolding (albeit with some unexpected plot-twists). To enjoy it when it arrives, adding every miraculous turn-around and breakthrough to the stories we tell and re-tell, reminding ourselves of the stunning ways God comes through.
Today as you pray, ask God to put And yet on the parts of life where you feel like you're stuck or just limping along. Wherever reality seems dismal and there's no reasonable hope, God has an And yet. Let's ask for it.
Here's to a Happy New Year :)