Posts Tagged ‘soul food’

Christmas Tradition

December 19, 2016

Tradition always comes to mind this time of year and I am sure each of us have some kind of tradition we remember and continue to practice. Some of those traditions are grand and involved and others are simple and quiet. To some degree these family and faith traditions are the glue that hold us together, remind us who we are, and who we hope to be.

Our family is no different, we have various traditions, especially around Christmas. Some are traditions we have carried forward with us and some we have created ourselves. Every year we put gold coins, often those gold foil covered chocolate ones, in our family stockings to remind us of the legend of Saint Nicholas; potato soup with the family, the long conversation about whether we can open gifts early or not, finding a way to try and help someone who might need a hand and a little extra love this time of year, and of course the gathering of family around a table laden with food, laughter, stories, memories, and love…mostly love.

I have a tradition I started many years ago involving primarily just myself. It is simple, brief, meaningful, and fills my soul a little more each year. Reading a book by Robert Fulgham, though I do not remember which one it was, he uses the imagery of Christmas music to speak of a cold, winter starry night. If you have been to many of our Christmas Eve Services you have heard me use those words as a form of encouragement. On Christmas Eve, after our Christmas Eve Service is over, either at the church or once I get home I always take just a few moments to… “Wander out on a midnight clear. Watch the Silent Stars go by. And listen…listen for the angels singing.”

My second tradition involves the communion elements. I asked a friend of mine while I was in seminary, who was a member of The Order of Saint Luke, what was proper in regards to left over bread and juice, or wine, after celebrating communion. He told me under no circumstances is one to just throw it away, pour the juice down the drain, or toss the bread in the trash. One should share the bread and juice with one who is hungry, consume it themselves, or “return them to the creation from which they came.” Each Christmas Eve I make sure our communion steward saves at least a portion of the remaining bread and juice for me to take home. Early on Christmas Morning I practice what I call my Saint Francis moment, and if you drive by our house early on Christmas Morn, you just might see an interesting fellow in his slippers standing in the yard, even in the snow, albeit it is usually in the backyard, pouring grape juice in the yard and scattering bits of broken bread on the ground for the creatures who dwell near our house. These two practices fill my heart and soul each Christmas.

Take some time this Christmas to nourish your soul, walk out this Christmas Eve on a midnight clear, watch the silent stars go by, and listen for the angels to sing. And as you gather together with friends and family on Christmas Day, find a way to remember even the least of the creatures of this good green earth we inhabit. And may the Light of this Season fill every nook and cranny of your being and burst forth onto and into the world around you so that the darkness will be held a little more at bay because of who you are.

Merry Christmas to each and every one of you. I am grateful to have so many family members, friends, and to be a part of this community and in some small way a part of your lives. I love you, God loves you, and there is nothing you can do about it.

Peace and Light on Your Journey,

Pastor Kent



You Are What You Eat

January 25, 2010

   Simeon seems to have developed a new dietary preference of late. Oh, he still eats his dog food, a very good brand we purchase from his doc, though I must admit he eats it rather slowly and sometimes can take as long as two days just to eat one bowl full.
   Here lately we have come home and found him expanding on his normal fare and broadening his horizons when it comes to food. The main ingredients have been pretty much the same though he has chosen a variety of presentations; a book, one paperback and one hard back, a cardboard boarder on a cat scratcher, a couple of boxes of Kleenex … ate the box but not the Kleenex, a cardboard box, a gift box complete with gift, though he did not harm the gift, just ate the box. He got a hold of a bag of candy Valentine hearts and evidently the bag nor the hearts had that delectable cardboard flavor so he just scattered the hearts and left the bag.
   I am not sure if he has a fiber defenciancy or just enjoys the taste of cardboard? Whatever it is, we have had to start looking for cardboard items and making sure they are out of reach. Sometimes I wish I knew what was going on inside his head and sometimes I am thankful I don’t have a clue, it is probably scary in there.
   I consume a lot of stuff on my journey of life and faith, whether it be food for body, food for mind, or food for soul. Some of it nourishes me and contributes to my health and wholeness, some of it would have been better left alone and simply served a detriment to my overall health, and some of it … well, I am still wondering why I consumed it in the first place.
   I suppose whether we are reading a book, listening to the news, surfing the web, or pulling our chair up to the table, we would do well to consider what we are putting in our minds, our souls, and our mouths. Something to ponder this week as you journey along, watch out for that junk food, those empty calories, and that mind numbing fluff, and seek out the things of the Kindom, the grace, that leads to health and love.
   Well, enough pondering for today, I better go check and see what flavor box Simeon has had today.