The Desert is Dry

Dear People of Expectation,

Thomas Merton writes about his first Christmas as a Trappist monk. It was, of course, radically different than anything he had experienced before. There were no presents, no Christmas feast, no gaudy decorations. But in the quiet simplicity of the monastic order, he experienced a new sense of Christ’s presence in his life. He writes of Christmas eve:

“The emptiness that had opened out within me, that had been prepared during Advent and laid open by my own silence and darkness, now became filled. And suddenly, I was in the new world. I seemed to be the same person, and I was the same person. I was still myself, I was more myself than I had ever been, and yet…there was a far greater reality in all this, the sense of presence of a Person ; not exteriorized in the space, not standing opposite one …or outside one, not standing here or there or anywhere, but living in the midst. You know that Christ is born within you.” –Thomas Merton

In the wake of all that has happened in the last week I ask Jesus to come now to each heart that breaks and mourns. Rise up as you did within the broken dreams of your earthly father Joseph and rekindle the hope of your promise that is the dream to see the “…desert dry land blossom and abundantly and rejoice…” (Isaiah 35:1,2) The desert is dry now, but the Christ Child who is coming will offer new life !

Perhaps my favorite Christmas song is the “Rebel Jesus” by Jackson Browne. In some ways the song convicts us all to live more in the center of Christmas’ truth. However, more than anything I find the song hopeful. For we know the ways of this world too often direct us into greed and fear. The “Rebel Jesus” comes to offer hope, generosity, and new life!

The staff and I have sent a letter out to all of the Gods Grace Community participants we are aware of who are also part of the Arapahoe High school Community. We have invited them to come for a customized ritual of prayer, remembrance and hope this Sunday. If you are aware of anyone who might benefit from what Jesus might offer in such a moment of worship, please extend an invitation to them.

Still in one peace,

Pastor David J. Jensen

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