Saturday, January 05, 2008

After a long journey...

I am back. 2007 was a most interesting year, and I do not care to recount nor repeat the medical adventures therein. The short update:
  • my health seems to be on the mend (in all the varied senses of the word "health")
  • my house is just as messy as ever
  • my bookshelves are fuller, and I've even read some of the books already!
The internship at First-Church-somewhere-in-the-midwest is simply lovely, I've been preaching lots, and one of the fruits of that experience I bring to you. In honor of Epiphany, from T.S. Eliot's poem, "Journey of the Magi":
'A cold coming we had of it,
Just the worst time of the year
For a journey, and such a journey:
The ways deep and the weather sharp,
The very dead of winter.'
And the camels galled, sore-footed, refractory,
Lying down in the melting snow.
There were times we regretted
The summer palaces on slopes, the terraces,
And the silken girls bringing sherbet.

Then the camel men cursing and grumbling
And running away, and wanting their liquor and women,
And the night-fires going out, and the lack of shelters,
And the cities hostile and the towns unfriendly
And the villages dirty and charging high prices:
A hard time we had of it.

At the end we preferred to travel all night,
Sleeping in snatches,
With the voices singing in our ears, saying
That this was all folly.
It doesn't sound particularly joyful, but don't let it fool you. Once you get past all those miles on camelback, and an audience with ruthless King Herod, things started looking up. Read the story (Mt 2:1-12 - especially vs 11), and then ask yourself a question: What if your gift to the child, before all others, was holy foolishness, a scavenger hunt en route to overwhelming joy?