[Rough Draft]

A weblog about god, doubt, insomnia, culture, baseball


dc4free#19: national christmas tree

this was a week or so before xmas, but i was a chaperone for ellie's class trip to see the national xmas tree in front of the white house. one little girl (not my own) was heard to say: "i sure hope george bush won't be there!" as if he were a dragon or something that haunts dreams. for some, i suppose, he is (lee, christopher, aa, you know who you are).

nevertheless, i had a great time w/ ellie looking @ the tree in a lightly falling rain/snow (weird b/c it was above freezing on the ground), watching the model trains circle the tree, listening to burl ives and bing crosby (they need some new music down @ 1600), and looking for our states' trees (the little ones that encircle the tree are from every state in the union, so we made sure to find mississippi and massachusetts). it's cool @ night, too -- so cool, in fact, that when i drove my parents by to see it one evening, i slammed into the back of the car in front of me. merry xmas to the guy i hit, wherever he is. hope it's not "in traction."

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the smallness of god

merry christmas everyone (did you hear that the avg. readership of a weblog is now one? so i suppose the emphasis in my xmas greeting is on the one in "everyone," and the real message is: "merry christmas, mom.").

by now everybody knows about the recent votes cast by va parishes to leave the episcopal church. if you ever read this space (and i actually estimate that mom only reads it quarterly, if @ all), you probably have noticed that i don't comment on the state of the my adopted church. i love it, i have no intention of leaving any time soon, i wish this all weren't happening, it breaks my heart generally to see xtns fighting (and nastily so), and listening to the noise from both sides of the debate tends to just tire me out.

i say that as a preface to my xmas post here b/c i link to a guy who clearly sympathizes w/ the episcopalians who are opting out. but what he had to say is something i think about quite a bit -- forget who wins the property war, the mantle of "anglican church in america," all the rest. in fact, forget about "winning" @ all. the blogger, who put it much better than i could, prays:

that god give them the gift of smallness - to be meek, to be weak, to lose if need be. no one can defeat you if you are willing to be small enough, meek enough, weak enough, if you are willing to lose. christ traded a throne for a cave. some may have to trade buildings and beloved properties for the kingdom of god. it’s a swap that’s been made before.

that's my prayer for my family and for the church this christmas. the mystery of the incarnation continues even now, in xt's extant physical presence on earth, his church. this year, i pray that we will learn to be smaller and not be afraid to lose everything for the sake of the world for whom god laid aside his god-ness to save. as my friend nate and i talked about a couple of nights ago on our front stoop, if xtianity means anything, then it's worth everything. tonight, in the sermon for the first mass of christmas, fr. davenport said "2000 years ago, god wriggled into our cramped darkness," and, if we can be more like the first xtns (read the epistle to diognetus), we'll be far more successful in winning the world.

blessings to you this christmas from our family in dc --
~ sammy

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last night's community group discussion was about the incarnation, and i tried to find this poem but couldn't until afterward. so, for your advent contemplation, here it go:

Blue homespun and the bend of my breast
keep warm this small, hot, naked star
fallen to my arms. (Rest . . .
you who have had so far
to come.) Now nearness satisfies
the body of God
sweetly. Quiet he lies
whose vigor hurled
a universe. He sleeps
whose eyelids have not closed before.
His breath (so light it seems
no breath at all) once ruffled the dark deeps
to sprout a world.
Charmed by doves’ voices, the whisper of straw,
he dreams,
hearing no music from his other spheres.
Breath, mouth, ears, eyes
he is curtailed
who overflowed all skies,
all years.
Older than eternity, now he
is new. Now native to earth as I am, nailed
to my poor planet, caught that I might be free,
blind in my womb to know
my darkness ended,
brought to this birth
for me to be new-born,
and for him to see me mended,
I must see him torn.

(“Mary’s Song,” A Poem by Luci Shaw, I think from Listen to the Green, but I’m not sure)

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sufjan's seasonal sessions

merry xmas to my ears!

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"an inconvenient truth"

@ long last, i got partial control of ye olde family netflix queue, so the docs are rolling in. i'm very late on this, but go immediately and watch this movie. it's one of the best i've ever seen.

and if that's not enough to quench your appetite, eugene jarecki's film is great, too. neither film is bitter or self-righteous, a la "bowling for columbine" or "farenheit 9/11" (both of which i liked, but moore is too caustic and cocksure to spearhead any sort of real grassroots change).

something gore said moved me (xtns would say "the holy spirit convicted me") when i heard it: doing something about the issue of global warming isn't just a good thing to do, it's a moral obligation. (i got the same feeling of "i'm going to have to answer to god for this someday" when i saw all the civilian casualties in jarecki's film). i don't know for sure what to do, but i know i have to do something, as inconsequential as that may be. i owe my children, and god, that much.

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