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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Evergreen Liturgy.

Evergreen Liturgy.

We come to the time of bare trees.
Branches shaking stiffly in the pale air 
and whistling in the cold wind.
The leaves have turned brown and dried up,
falling to the earth,
disintegrating into the soil. 
The trees have gone dormant,
their life hidden within,
waiting for the stronger light of resurrection.
And yet some trees refuse to go into the cold unadorned.
Some trees brazenly shine a continued hope 
into the barren, gray landscape.
Some trees stubbornly stay green
even into the dead of winter.
Some trees refuse to surrender
to a hostile season.
God has placed these trees among us as a sign.
A sign of life.
A memory of warm abundance and joy.
A sign of hope.
An anticipation of spring.
A sign of abiding.
A bold act of resistance.
We call them “evergreen.”

The Light shines in the darkness
and the darkness did not overcome it.
The green persists in the cold
and the cold does not overwhelm it.
The icy darkness of bigotry, vulgarity, hatred, exclusion, and fear
cannot overcome Christ’s warm light of compassion, justice, peace, and welcome.
In the face of a harsh season:
some stay green.
In this season of waiting
as the darkness deepens
as the colors drain from the world
fading into the grays of winter:
We lift up the evergreen.

Pine, fir, cedar, holly, ivy, juniper, hemlock, 
spruce, cypress, rhododendron.
We give thanks to the Creator
for the witness of the evergreens.

We carry springs and branches to the Communion Table.

God of Life and Light:
you fashioned this Earth in love
and placed among us in nature
reminders of your abiding Presence.
Your life shines through your creation
and every living thing points to you.
Your Word echoes in everything you breathed into being.
So today we lift up in recognition
our sister and brother evergreen trees
whom you place among us
as a reminder
that in your economy
nothing is ever lost.
Life always remains.
Love always wins.
Keep us ever green as well, O God,
ever witnessing to the power of your verdant love
shining in all you have made.

Amen.

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