From Handel’s Messiah sing-alongs and carolers to Salvation Army bell-ringers and department store Christmas ambiance, the air pulses with music this season. I recently saw a photo on social media satirizing how busy musicians are during the Christmas holiday, and as a church organist I can completely relate. December is without doubt the busiest time of my year; concerts, gigs, and church services consume my thoughts from Thanksgiving to Christmas. I consciously have to remind myself of why we celebrate Advent and Christmas, as my busyness often overshadows the miracle birth of......
Advent is a time of reflection. A time to meditate on the darkness of our lives and world, and to anticipate the coming of light in the form of Christ. Notice, that doesn’t say spiritual reflection. Advent certainly is a time for us to think critically about our spiritual selves, the innermost thoughts and emotions that we hold, and our faith practices. It is a time for us to be mindful of the ways in which we have lived into our brokenness, rather than the hope of our future wholeness. But one crucial......
Today (Dec. 4, 2014) a Staten Island grand jury found no reasonable evidence to indict Daniel Pantaleo, a police office, for the death of Eric Garner, a resident of NYC. Pantaleo is shown on camera (the recorder of which was indicted, for the record) putting Eric in a chokehold – which is expressly prohibited by the New York City Police Department which hired and trained him. As Eric was brought to the ground, with his hands raised in surrender, he managed to shout, “I can’t breathe,” before passing out and eventually dying. You......