The Advent Letters

Mornin’, Lord.

I’m sorry I haven’t written in a handful of days. What with wrapping up work, and the kids all coming in, and trying to multiply figurative loaves and fish to buy literal gifts for everyone, well, I got sorta scrambled. As your servant and my friend, Brennan, used to say: “these things happen.” They do, and you know that, that we are but dust and we get scrambled sometimes, maybe most times, so your stance toward us is that of a compassionate father, slow, slow, slow to anger, and still, still, still to love.

We won’t be in church this morning, Lord. You know this already. It has been our tradition to get a corner booth at Maggiano’s in Denver and eat together under the festive holly and ivy. We’ll be doing that this morning about the same time our Lutheran sisters and brothers are making measured steps toward the wine and the bread. At first glance ours will be a different communion, but then again, I don’t know, maybe there are as many facets to the gem of the Great Thanksgiving as there are faces. I don’t know. I do know, as Crash told Annie in that winner of a baseball movie: “…right now I’m tired and…I don’t wanta think about nothing…I just wanta be.”

So I thank you for the time ahead, and I ask you to bless us everyone in that corner booth as we eat and talk and hopefully laugh, and just be for a bit on this the fourth Sunday of Advent. No shocker to you, I’m going to order Carbonara, as is my custom, and it will cause me to remember Italy, and how about this time last year we walked the cobbly streets of Florence and Siena and Rome…goodness, Lord, I loved that time. All those sights, and everything smelled like chocolate and tobacco…goodness, Lord. I swear even with all the misery and stupidity, I cannot fathom why anyone in their right mind would want to leave this sweet world. I’ve found it a rather suitable home. I can see why you gave up everything to come and save it, to save us. Thank you.

Please be close to my Dad today. Burying his good friend this week, a friend like a brother, was hard on his heart. Death and Christmas are oil and water in my book, Lord. But I know they mix, and we must press on. Oh, and thank you for the moon. It has been majestic the last few nights. And with the dusting of snow we received yesterday afternoon, last night I paused a lyrical moment to see “the moon on the crest of the new-fallen snow.” Lovely, Lord. Many, many thanks.

Sincerely amen.



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  1. alice scott-ferguson on December 23, 2018 at 8:02 am

    so love the pathos, the piety and the predicament!
    And the personal intimacy with the Father you express;
    speaks to so many of us…
    many too shy to put doubts and differences on display

    • John Blase on December 23, 2018 at 8:11 am

      Thank you, Alice. I appreciate your words.

  2. Lavonne Glanville on December 23, 2018 at 9:18 am

    Beautiful as usual. Thanks for writing, John!

  3. Roslyn Bourgeois on December 23, 2018 at 11:55 am

    John, some of my most profound and realistic experiences of Communion have been in the breaking of the bread, sharing a meal with some people who shared openly, honestly. We knew we were in a safe place and could risk being vulnerable and real. I can imagine that your time together today will be a joyous Communion Blessings and peace John.

  4. abby on December 23, 2018 at 12:02 pm

    “these things happen.” yes. they do. i feel scrambled much of the time- that is a beautiful description. I hope they save that corner booth for you, and the carbonara is equal parts cream, salt, and love. Merry Christmas, John. Merry Christmas.

  5. Rebecca Nehme on December 23, 2018 at 1:24 pm

    Wow!! Just wow! Such beautiful words.

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