The hymn we just sang was Martin Luther King’s favorite. And I can imagine, given the struggles he faced, that it was also his prayer: “Precious Lord, take my hand, lead me on, let me stand, I am tired, I am weak, I am worn.” King often asked Mahalia Jackson to sing “Precious Lord” at civil rights rallies, and she sang it at his funeral.
Do you remember the movie “The Big Chill”? It’s about a group of college friends who come back together for a funeral, and they end up staying for the weekend. The title comes from a line in the movie, when during that cozy reunion, one of the characters reminds his friends that it’s a cold world out there. He says, “Wise up, folks. We're all alone out there and tomorrow we're going out there again.”
“O come, all ye faithful.” I wonder—do you count yourself among that number? Do you see yourself as faithful? Too often faith is equated with what you think, is seen as believing the right thing, even believing in the unbelievable. But that’s not what faith is. No, faith is about how you act.
With yesterday’s snowfall, it feels like winter is upon us. Even though it doesn’t officially arrive until the solstice on December 21. I actually like winter. I like shoveling snow, the invitation to shovel Zen-like, methodically and mindfully. I like to imagine the winter falling upon us, the way the snow does, bringing a change of pace, bringing quiet to the land. I like how winter makes one glad to come indoors, to get warm and be cozy; how this season invites a quieter, more interior way of being for a while.