December 2017

As a boy growing up in Mill Hall our Christmas tree had a mystical quality about it. The lights and ornaments were shrouded in a layer of what was called “Angel’s Hair.” It made a beautiful impression but it was neither angelic nor hair-like. It was in fact glass spun thin, difficult to work with, mean to the touch. My father wore thick rubber gloves to put it on and we didn’t touch the tree afterward until we took it down. If you did touch it the angel hair seemed to attach itself like a magnet drawn to metal and irritated the skin like poison ivy.

I find myself remembering the mystic look of angel’s hair on a Christmas tree the same way I find myself listening to music I do not listen to at other times of the year. And watching movies from the 50s, 60s, and 70s. And recalling Bigger, Brighter, Better days. This is Christmas; this is what we do; we look back fondly. But in my better moments I remember why no one uses Angel’s Hair on Christmas trees anymore.

God is relentlessly present tense! It is the will of God that we live well in this moment fueled by real memories and reasonable hopes. Nostalgia is a distortion of real memories as anxiety is a distortion of reasonable hope. Join me and the worshipping congregation of Calvary this Advent and Christmas as we see how God challenges our tendencies to distort the past so that God can free us to live life better here and now.

Pastor Lew

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