News from St. Francis 12/23 – 12/30/18

This was too good to pass up. Kathleen Norris on Annunciation. . .
“Annunciation” means “the announcement.” It would not be a scary word at all, except that as one of the Christian mysteries, it is part of a language of story, poetry, image, and symbol that the Christian tradition has employed for centuries to convey the central tenets of the faith. The Annunciation, Incarnation, Transfiguration, Resurrection. A Dominican friend defines the mysteries simply as “events in the life of Christ celebrated as stories in the gospels, and meant to be lived by believers.” But modern believers tend to trust in therapy more than in mystery, a fact that tends to manifest itself in worship that employs the bland speech of pop psychology and self-help rather than language resonant with poetic meaning – for example, a call to worship that begins: “Use this hour, Lord, to get our perspectives straight again.” Rather than express awe, let alone those negative feelings, fear and trembling, as we come into the presence of God, crying, “Holy, Holy, Holy,” we focus totally on ourselves, and arrogantly issue an imperative to God. Use this hour, because we’re busy later; just send us a bill, as any therapist would, and we’ll zip off a check in the mail. But the mystery of worship, which is God’s presence and our response to it, does not work that way.
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