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Sometimes the message might be when there is no message.

It is a shame Protestants, especially Evangelicals, give little thought to the liturgical seasons. The reality is that advent is four weeks of anticipation. A little four-week metaphor on longing for what has not yet happened. And, yes, it does not end with Christmas. But, for nearly 80% of the world's believers, it does not end there.

Epiphany, associated with the visit of the magi, as well as the baptism of the adult Jesus in the Jordan River by John, is on January 6. In the Orthodox tradition, Christmas falls on our calendar date January 7. But, even those are not the end.

In early February we will come to the Feast of Simeon - the old man who held the baby (not a newborn) Jesus in the temple. (Luke 2) There is a movement over time here most Evangelicals seem to have either lost, or replaced with a secular calendar following the rule of St. Hallmark.

The rhythm of worship used to not be about the music, the drummer or the praise team. It was experiencing worship in the passage of time that did not feel that somehow every week ought to be better than the last. There was an ebb and flow, a hurrying up and a slowing down, a mountaintop or two that would emerge out of seasons of reflection and sadness. If there were never weeping in the night, who would care whether or not joy came in the morning?

So, considering the season we are still in, and the lessons we seem doomed to learn only in the movement of our lives through time that we seem unable to either speed up or slow down, here's a link to the message Linda and I shared in chapel at Ozark to close out the first semester back in December.

Two notes: The first part is just audio and a black screen. Live with it. Hearing is sometimes better than seeing.

Also, there are a number of minutes (with video) when nothing happens except us obviously waiting. If you'll stay with this and not skip ahead, you may find out the most important message of the sermon may be when we don't say anything.

Waiting and worship may need to rediscover one another.

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