|The Fourth Sunday in Advent / Grace Cathedral|
Last Sunday, my wife and I took the opportunity to attend the Fourth Sunday in Advent service. The hymns were inspiring ~ it felt good to sing along even though I was starting to feel the effects of a winter cold ~ and the homily delivered by the Very Rev. Rowan Smith, Dean Emeritus of St. George's Cathedral, Cape Town, South Africa was meaningful.
|A chance for self reflection / Inside Grace Cathedral|
Advent provides us with an opportunity for self reflection, a chance for reconnecting with distant family and friends, a time for hope and prayer. It's a challenge to balance secular with sacred.
While I try not to be all consumed by the commercialization of the holiday season, sometimes, there are rewards. OK, I'll admit that our gifts to each other this year were iPhones, something we had been thinking about purchasing for a long time. The iPhone is a modern wonder of technology that will forever change the way we communicate with family and friends and connect with the world. So, I look at this in a positive manner, a self-reward, and maybe ~ just maybe ~ a necessity.
|With family and friends / Enjoying the season|
Soon, we will be getting together with family to celebrate Christmas and to enjoy the holiday season with friends, too. There will be singing and worshiping, and food ~ lots of food to nourish our body and soul. Hopefully, the Christmas holiday will provide everyone with a chance to unwind, relax and be free of stress.
In the days ahead, we look forward to visiting a couple of Bay Area museums, treating ourselves to a few of our favorite things. Before we know it, 2011 will arrive.
|Merry Christmas / Happy New Year|
Finally, I want to take this opportunity to send best wishes to you and your family for a safe and happy holiday, and may the New Year bring you much peace, joy and happiness.
Photos of Grace Cathedral and Palace Hotel Christmas tree by Michael Dickens, copyright 2010.