Thursday, December 15, 2005

View from the Top

This is no Christmas view I've ever been used to. Last week Martha and I were driven up into the mountains overlooking Santa Barbara and we came to the highest point, called La Cumbra peak. At about 3,900 feet look straight south into the Pacific ocean we could see the barrier islands that shelter Santa Barbara from storms and the slim section of land that so many people want to live on, driving home prices through the roof! But getting this perspective so helps me see the community I am called to live in and serve.
Too often we don't get above the everyday stuff to see the bigger picture of where we really live and who we really serve. We get stuck in the ruts of routine and tedium, maintenance and mollification. Soemtimes life in the church seems more like life in a fox-hole, ducking for cover from shots coming from the enemy in front and allies behind. The only thing we might see is the sky above, but no grand vistas and awesome views.
Christmas time is the time to get some views from the top, celestial sounds with brass and harp, full throated singers and magestic pipe organs. It's a time for gold lame' and brocaded rope, it's a time for lavish feasts and deep wines and candles and fires. It's a time for great art and long stories. It's a time to really ponder if angels really hovered over those shepherds, and if they hover now.


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