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DSC_0495 blog Nov 20 2010Coming Full Circle

This week two practices come round and meet: the circle of the church year comes to an end, and a year long practice of blogging also comes full circle.

Tomorrow is the final Sunday of the church year. Next Sunday a new year begins with Advent. Each year the church calendar  follows the life of Christ from the birth of Jesus (Advent) through the Epiphany of God’s appearing in Christ, the ministry (Ordinary Time) and passion of Jesus (Lent), and finally to his death on Good Friday and Easter resurrection. And then comes the season of God’s spirit giving birth to the church at Pentecost. And finally we follow along with the season of the church, the embodiment of Christ, through Ordinary Time.

For me this week, which ends the church year, also marks a full year of blogging. I began with Advent last year. So this week I will take time to read through all 93 entries of the past year. Except for a six week sabbath in July and August, I blogged twice weekly. I will be noticing themes, ideas, patterns, and even things that are missing.

I will also be considering what my energy and commitment will allow in the year to come. My purpose has been to explore ways to think about learning practices of spirituality and ministry. More specifically and personally, I took on the challenge of posting here twice a week for these reasons: 1) to expand my own spiritual discipline; 2) to fulfill my commitment for doing some theological reflection in a way that is both public in its character and accessible to a wide range of readers (not that I have a big audience, but that a wide range of people can read and follow along with what I’m saying); 3) to improve my writing through regular consistent practice, apart from the deadlines of writing for the church and the academy; 4) to have a little fun along the way.

I’ve also taken this year as a time to practice sharing some images of life and beauty and hopeful imagination through the stories and photos I’ve posted.  In my final post of the year, I will offer some reflections about what I notice when I read back through it all. And I’ll render my verdict on what is to come in the year ahead.

If you have thoughts I  hope you’ll send them to me. I’ve wished for my writing to provoke some conversation. And something of that has happened. Most of that conversation takes place “off-line,” which is fine.  I welcome your input as I consider how the next year will go. I’m grateful for the feedback some of you have sent.

This is a week for giving thanks, and as I notice my blessings of the past year, I will count these conversations among them. And I wish for you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving!