What chance do we have of a real Christmas unless we first bring an open heart?

“Come, Thou long expected Jesus
Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in Thee.” – Charles Wesley

Today I want to share some writing around three thoughts that have been circulating and percolating around my brain.

  • First, something Alan Perry said yesterday morning at his father Glen’s funeral service in Wendell.
  • Then the title page of a journal a friend kept back in Pensacola.
  • Third this coming Advent season, beginning tomorrow, when expectation opens our eyes enough that we don’t end up missing what is coming.

Alan said his father – an accomplished engineer with a physics brain – liked to talk about the conservation of energy. This is the simple idea that energy does not ever go away, but instead gets stored in another form (like the sun’s energy stored in plants via photosynthesis, which eventually translates, via decomposition and metamorphosis and time, into oil, or coal, which then releases the energy thousands of years later in the form of combustible fuel).

In the same sense our spiritual energy lives on – even here on earth – in the form of love, and vision, and ideas, and memories, and the living out of a legacy. We may not have a clear idea of what eternal life looks like in terms of “heaven,” but the durability of self – of “soul” – is undeniable.

The durability of soul is undeniable.


What is also undeniable is the connection between faith and how we experience life. This was my second thought this morning. My friend in Pensacola kept a journal with the title page, “Miracles I have Experienced.” When you have such an expectation then there is no doubt miracles are going to be a little easier to spot!

I’d venture to say 90% of the miracles she wrote about in her journal would have gone unnoticed and certainly unrecorded had she not gone into each and every day with such an expectation.

Open Spirits:

Finally, Rebekah and I just finished watching the first season of a show titled, “Mozart in the Jungle”. It’s a little too profane in terms of language but the story is brimming with creativity, imagination, intelligence, and (sometimes deeply embedded) really good theology.

My favorite character is the maestro, Rodrigo. I love him because he does not encounter any situation in his life without bringing an open spirit and an almost naïve anticipation that he will learn, that he will encounter wonder, that he will be transformed. This is his gift, this is what he gives – or tries to give – to other people, this is why he is maestro.

Tomorrow is the first day of the season of Advent. What of Jesus will live in and through us? What miracles do we expect to experience? What wonder, what transformation, what gift is/are our hearts, our spirits, our souls open to receive?

Come Christmas, will we be ready to receive The King?

Peace – and I mean that in the most disruptive way – DEREK

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