I’ve always been enchanted by holiday traditions. When I married, I decided to create a tradition of my own. Since Jack’s side of the family celebrated Christmas the Saturday before and my side met on Christmas day, I invited anyone who wanted to come for a special Christmas Eve feast.
Jack’s parents and Jack’s sister, Rita, along with Rita’s family, came to the very first Feast. I planned the menu weeks ahead. I scrubbed the house to a spit-shine and happily fretted over endless details incumbent upon a holiday hostess. It was important for that first Feast to go well, and it did. The guests were suitably impressed by the food, and the atmosphere was pleasant and festive.
One year I decided to serve prime rib. I investigated many methods of cooking it, and finally decided on the One True Way. With guests about to arrive, I prepared a final herb rub–and noticed a funny smell.
“Is that my roast?” I shrieked.
“Yes,” Jack admitted, as if he’d noticed it for a while.
Turned out my prime rib was way past its prime–the meat was foul. Christmas Eve Feast was about to be a complete failure. Maybe my husband expected wails and groans–maybe I did. But many years of celebrating this Christmas Eve Feast taught me one thing: it isn’t about food, though the food is nice. It isn’t about the atmosphere, though atmosphere is important. Continue reading / Leave a comment…
Today I found an interesting post over at The Burnside Writers Collective that called into question the illiteracy of our clergy. Titled, “Does Your Pastor Read?”, the author affirms the importance of literature in connection with faith, and laments the practice of quoting bumper stickers from the pulpit instead of poetry.
Here’s a section from the article with a great quote from a well-read pastor. To read the rest of the article, visit here.
“John Wesley was an old preacher guy who lived a long time ago, back when “online” meant a person’s clothes were drying in the sun. Wesley thought reading was an important spiritual discipline: “It cannot be that the people should grow in grace unless they give themselves to reading. A reading people will always be a knowing people. ”
Can a pastor who doesn’t read really lead a people? Or is he more like a blind friend with a map? Pretty ineffective at giving clear direction.”
What do you think? Does your pastor read or incorporate literature in his sermons? Do you think it’s important to integrate stories with spirituality, why or why not?