A Word about the Word-
“A sword will pierce your soul…” [Luke 2:34]
So reads the words of wise, old Simeon at the Temple to Mary as she was dedicating Jesus, her son—an episode in the life of Christ which we will examine on Sunday, a story retold so well by Frederick Buechner:
Jesus was still in diapers when his parents brought him to the Temple in Jerusalem as the custom was, and that’s when old Simeon spotted him. Years before, he been told he wouldn’t die till he’d seen the Messiah with his own two eyes, and time was running out. When the moment finally came, one look through his cataract lenses was all it took. He asked if it would be all right to hold the baby in his arms, and they told him to go ahead but be careful not to drop it. “Lord, now let your servant depart in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation,” he said, the baby playing with the fringes of his beard. The parents were pleased as punch, so he blessed them too for good measure. Then something about the mother stopped him, and his expression changed. What he saw in her face was a long way off, but it was there so plainly he couldn’t pretend. “A sword will pierce through your soul,” he said. He would rather have bitten off his own tongue than said it, but in that holy place he felt he had no choice. Then he handed her back the baby and departed in something less than the perfect peace he’d dreamed of all the long years of his waiting.
Close to Home
2021 is right around the corner. Here’s something we all need: Emotional Healthy Spirituality. Huh? Good, I got your attention. Based on the very popular book, EHS will be an eight-week video series “at” Trinity that helps us face our inner life and our emotional well-being—a challenge to better our skills in relating to others (people and God) in authentic ways. We will offer both at “Zoom groups” and a Wednesday evening in-person class. Find out more here.
Lent is coming. I know what you’re saying: “Come on, we’re not even through Advent yet!” Good, I got your attention again! This coming Lent, we want to do a Trinity “art show.” So, I’m calling all photographers, artists, and poets: Whether you were one before COVID or not, we need you now! Part of the way we will “show off” your art will be in a Lenten devotional that will be made available to our Trinity family. Your artwork—a drawing, painting, poem, photograph, or something altogether different—will help populate that devotional’s pages. If you have created something or have dreamed of creating something that speaks to your journey over this past year, now is your chance! Stay tuned for more info about how we’ll be collecting these works of art soon.
The World as It Is
Electric cars seem to be the wave of the future. Tesla is making such a big impact on the market. Hummers are soon to be on the GMC . But have you heard about Zoox? Owned by Amazon, the Zoox goes 75mph, has no steering wheel, and looks pretty space-age cool. See it here.
What word or phrase do you find most annoying? “That’ll do” will get you in my doghouse real fast. For 12 years running now, Americans consider “whatever” (47%) to be the most annoying word used in conversation. “Whatever” beat out “like” (19%) and “in my opinion” (13%). Virtual meetings are changing our vocabulary. “You’re on mute” received 9%.
“In silence and quietness the devout soul makes progress and learns the hidden mysteries of the Scriptures.” [Thomas à Kempis]
“If you live for people’s acceptance, you will die from their rejection.” [Lecrae (whose comments on race cost him 30,000 social media followers in a single day)]
“He who cannot be a good follower cannot be a good leader” [Aristotle]
“Tolerance isn’t about not having beliefs. It’s about how your beliefs lead you to treat people who disagree with you.” [Tim Keller]
An elderly lady once asked theologian Karl Barth, “Will I see my loved ones again in heaven?”
He replied, “Not only those you love.”
Check out Rembrandt’s depiction of the Simeon–Mary meeting below.
I’ll catch you on the other side.