Sharp About Your Prayers

the challenges, absurdities, and joys of an urban faith

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Mulch

January 7th, 2016 · No Comments · Faith and the City

Life moves fast.

mulchfest-treecycleIf you walk around the city this week, you cannot help noticing the curbside stacks of bedraggled Christmas trees. They are ready for “Mulchfest” — New York’s annual recycling program that turns our holiday remnants into something useful for local parks and playgrounds.

The Church moves fast, too.

This week we celebrate Baptism of the Lord Sunday. Jesus is no longer a child. He is an adult who walks down to the Jordan River to be baptized by his cousin John.

Christmas is a memory. It is mulch.

And that’s OK!

Christmas is good mulch — essential, spiritual mulch. The songs of angels, the joy of the shepherds, the hopes of the Magi can and should become cover for the patches of bare ground in our lives. They protect our roots. These stories nourish us and call us to new life in the New Year.

Take, for example, the affection that Mary and Joseph show for their newborn. The beauty of this moment beckons us to sing “Silent Night.” But it doesn’t stop there. This love, this deep love, keeps reaching out to claim our hearts.

the-Baptism-of-JesusThis Sunday it is reaffirmed when Jesus, the adult, stands dripping wet in the Jordan, and a voice from above proclaims, “This is my Son, the Beloved.”

This Sunday, I encourage you to make good on those New Years resolutions. Come worship. Come spread mulch over your bare spots. Come gaze into the eyes of God’s Beloved, and see if some of that love doesn’t wrap itself around you, too.

See you in worship,

SBJ

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