Christmas Eve – Br. Curtis Almquist

adventword_startHave you ever wondered about the tradition of hanging Christmas lights – where it comes from and what the lights mean? On the first day of Advent 2016, we return to this 2005 sermon from Br. Curtis Almquist, in which he investigates the lights we hang around us (and the lights we carry within us). “If you were to say, there doesn’t seem to be much light in me right now… you might be surprised. In a dark place, even a little bit of light will have a brilliant effect. You are teeming with light.”

A couple of weeks ago I was walking in Harvard Square with my brother, John Oyama, and we were talking about the Christmas lights (or holiday lights!) that are strung across the streets, on lamp poles, in shop windows, and on the gables of houses here in Cambridge and in so many places across the States and beyond this time of year.

“Isn’t that interesting” and “why do they do that?” we were saying to one another. If we were to ask the public works department, and shopkeepers, and you who are householders, “why do we adorn our life and livelihood with lights at this time of year?” we would undoubtedly hear a great variety of explanations, the lowest common denominator probably being, “It’s a tradition,” or “It’s our custom; this is what we’ve always done.” Which is true… mostly. Continue reading

The Gift of Joy – Br. Curtis Almquist

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your
gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not
worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and
supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made
known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all
understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in
Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4: 4-7 Continue reading