December 13, 2022
...become the bearer of God. Night Visions, Searching the Shadows of Advent and Christmas Jan L. Richardson
Isn’t that the invitation of this time of the year? We read of Mary’s willingness to accept the call, but Joseph also accepted fatherhood ahead of schedule. We watch and listen as the shepherd and the Wise Ones followed the star to discover what might be new, what might be possible. In each of their “yeses,” they became a bearer of God.
When in the last year have you received the touch of God? When have you been the bearer of God?
In a recent sermon at our church Pastor Lois Pallmeyer quoted Jaclyn Roessel, founder of the Grown Up Navajo blog,
When we are able to act for the betterment of others…we will speak sacredness fluently.
I love that phrase “speak sacredness fluently.” Imagining myself as a bearer of God is not easy, but somehow acting in ways that can be seen, heard, felt as a sign of the sacred seems more possible. In this elder stage of life, it seems I see the sacred everywhere. Even the challenging changes that come as we grow older seem to offer more ways to practice speaking sacredness. Sometimes that means holding the hand of a loved one as she approaches death and saying, “I love you with all my heart.” Or it may mean listening more than speaking.
Speaking sacredness fluently means staying awake with gratitude in my heart.
A Grateful Summary
- Our life has not changed much in the last year. We are in the same home, both healthy and doing what gives us meaning. Bruce paints and gives new life to cast-off furniture and other home decor accessories, which he sells at summer garage sales with the proceeds going to Rezik House, a program for homeless youth. He loves his monthly men’s book group at church and also volunteered as the church gardener this past summer, even while maintaining our own gardens. I continue meeting with spiritual direction clients, writing this blog along with occasional other pieces, and facilitating various groups at our church, including a weekly writing group. This fall I revived the Third Chapter, Spirituality as We Age group, facilitating informal conversations on topics like decluttering and downsizing. Our faith community remains a source of joy and growth and connection.
- You will see in the picture below that grandson Peter (almost 15 and in the 9th grade) is taller than his Papa –taller than everyone in the family, except his Dad. He follows a strict weight-lifting regimen as part of his devotion to both baseball and football. We enjoyed going to his football games this past fall and now Papa drives him twice a week to a baseball class. At church he is one of the sound technicians for Sunday morning services and at school he is the lighting guy–learning great skills.
- We drove to Portland, Oregon in the spring to bring our granddaughter Maren (age 20) home from her freshman year at Lewis and Clark. What fun to not only see her on campus, but then to have her all to ourselves for the return trip. This past summer she worked at Northern Lights, a YMCA family camp in northern Minnesota, co-directing outdoor activities. Perfect for her! She will return there this summer. This fall as a sophomore she was the stage manager for the college musical, Rent. How good it will be to have her home for a chunk of time over the holidays.
- One of the best parts of this time of our lives is having such strong and loving relationships with our adult kids, son Geof and daughter-in-love, Cricket who live in Cleveland and daughter Kate and son-in-love Mike who live five blocks from us. How good it will be to have “together time” this Christmas.
Minnesota author Bill Holm in his book Faces of Christmas Past muses that the tradition of writing Christmas letters is a way to state “I am alive…still on the planet, I have not forgotten you. The thread, whether of blood, nostalgia or friendship, that sews us together has not been cut.”
I agree and add that these letters are a sign of our all being one. Each of us in our connection speaks sacredness fluently and has the chance to become a bearer of God.
Warm Blessings, Nancy and Bruce