Aldon Hynes's blog

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Advent I 2015

“The days are surely coming” says the prophet
as I glance at my news feed
at the worries of this life,

When people will faint from fear
of refugees and neighbors.

The arguments abound online
about if we should show
and to whom.

Which politician, priest,
or demagogue
should lead us?

Will this leader
or that
be the one,
the savior, redeemer

There are wars
and rumors of war.
Will this battle be decisive?
Will this war end all wars?

And what part will we play
in the Christmas pageant
at the barricades
in this casual comedy?

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Advent Music on Spotify

Well, it’s almost time. Today was the last Sunday of the liturgical year. Thursday we will celebrate Thanksgiving Day and then next Sunday, will be the first Sunday of Advent. So, it is time to put together a list of seasonally appropriate music.

As a good Episcopalian, that does not mean Christmas songs, and particularly does not mean songs about Grandma getting run over by Reindeer, and other such songs. We are entering the season of Advent.

So, I looked in the 1982 Hymnal for a list of Advent Hymns. There are fourteen in that category, although I’m sure there are other hymns that are appropriate for Advent.

I went out and searched Spotify to see how many of them I could find there. I found eight. As I started playing through them, I found that two of them were on albums of Advent music, so I added the eight hymns and two albums into an Advent Playlist.

I will continue to seek other music to add to this list. Let me know if you have any recommendations.

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#DigiWriMo: The Journey from Paris

In a recent BBC Broadcast, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, talking about the terrorist attacks in Paris asked of God, “Where are you in all this?” To me, the answer seems fairly obvious, Calvary. Yet, I too must admit that I’ve had doubts about my own faith. Calvary and the terrorist attacks in Paris are both beyond my comprehension.

I think this illustrates an important idea about faith. It is often said that the opposite of faith is not doubt, the opposite of faith is certainty, or that the opposite of faith is fear. I do not believe that the terrorists in Paris were people of faith. I particularly, I do not believe they were people of faith in the God of Abraham, like me Jewish, Muslim, and Christian brothers and sisters are. They were people who had given themselves over to hateful certainty aimed at destroying faith by creating fear.

To me, the bigger question is, where is God in the responses to the terrorist attacks. God seems to be particularly missing in the responses of many politicians that claim to be Christian. Echoing my response to Archbishop Welby’s question, I respond that God is in the welcoming of mother giving birth and placing her baby in a manger because there was no room at the Inn; that God is in the flight of a parents taking their baby son to Egypt to protect their son from being killed by a ruthless political leader; that God is in the story told by the son, years later, explained the idea of being a neighbor by talking about a Samaritan man taking care of a victim of violence.

In each of these stories, there is an important theme, that of ‘journey’. I’ve been thinking a lot about my own journey this past year as I’ve struggled with the question of where does God want me to be in all of this. One friend talked about her desire to walk the Camino de Santiago, a famous pilgrim’s journey in northern Spain. The Camino has become a metaphor I use for my own journey.

Online, I’ve participated in #Rhizo15 and #DigiWriMo, two explorations into writing and teaching online that often talk about maps, journeys and getting lost and yesterday, I stumbled across an online meditation, in a blog called, Walk With me on Our Journey.

Imagining the unimaginable : That we are walking in the footsteps of our family members who are refugees.

Today is the last Sunday of the liturgical calendar, where we celebrate Christ the King. Next week, we start the new liturgical calendar with Advent, a time of waiting and preparation for the coming of Christ. We start a new journey from waiting for the incarnation and grieving the crucifixion to celebrating the resurrection. Many, during Holy week will journey through the Stations of the Cross, a journey through grief, a journey to Calvary, a journey to the terrorist attacks of Paris, and a journey that ultimately brings us to Easter.

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