Monday, January 4, 2010

The Gypsy Rover

We sang the Gypsy Rover in church on Sunday and talked about the soul and had a great time reading Isaiah 60 with everyone with loud uproar.  Kaye whistled in church, and we had a bunch of new folks.  And we played with Twelve Days of Christmas -- the legend about it being a code of some kind appears to be wrong, so we just had fun making up our own ideas for what all the images might mean.

For those of you who haven't come across him, C.G. Jung, who was a disciple of Freud, is one of the great gifts to the church in the last century.  He and his followers have looked deeply at the language of image and dreams, and especially the collective archetypes that govern much of our life journey.  When we look at the insights this field of study has given to anyone dealing with spirituality in the last seventy five years, we can't thank him enough.

On Sunday, we used the story of the Gypsy Rover to highlight some important points about the journey of the soul.  This particular myth describes vividly the awakening of the soul that often happens during our teenage years, the loss of the soul as human being concentrate on developing some mastery of the concrete world in the formative working years, and something of the mess that occurs when people begin to discover in later years a deep hole where the soul used to be.  This can begin a discovery process in the last half of life that can lead to a deep sense of peace and creativity -- where a whistle of spirituality can turn into the music and richness of a full life.  This growth only occurs if we learn new things about our lives and walk in those places we have not gone before.

There are piles of books written by C. J. Jung and his followers.  A great one to start with is his autobiography Memories, Dreams and Reflections (written around 1956 but reprinted constantly since it was first written).  For books looking into deeper meaning of stories and myths see books by Robert Johnson (like "He" or "She").

Saturday, January 2, 2010


Wow!  Busy as usual and no blogs for the entire Advent season.

Check out the website if you are interested in an end of the year reflection.  I preached on it and presented a paper which is in the church to help guide through the process.  But, if you want to find it, I put it online on the website.  My reflection is based on a weekly spiritual report I learned from the Church of the Saviour in Washington DC and have been doing myself for decades now (that is included).  The yearly reflection is a list of some of the things I use as guides for my reflection, a reflection on basic needs in my life, a reflection on the three basics of the spiritual journey (poverty, chastity and obedience) and some other questions I have found helpful.  Remember Ted's Rule for the Spiritual Journey #457 is guilt is worthless -- our reflections cannot be motivated or result in guilt.  Growth is built on a desire to follow God's call in our lives.

Advent was good this year.  We focused on three stories that help guide our paths through preparing for the Christ to enter our lives.  We looked at Zechariah and thought about what it means to be silent before the work of God in our lives.  We looked at John and  his call to sharing as a way to prepare for the revolution that is incarnation.  Finally, we thought about Mary and what it means to ponder or think deeply about our lives.

Christmas was a grand intergenerational service telling the story and singing the songs.  There were as many Teddy Bears as people and a wonderful time of light in the building and in our lives.

I am grateful for all the people who helped make it such a great season.  We also raised $1,800 in the Christmas offering and a huge pile of school supplies for the special education class in Miranda.  Well done everyone.