Christmas, 2013

Dear Family and Friends,

Earth and sky are connected in this photo by Dale Kaminsky of Kearney, Nebraska.  In the photo we see lightning over a village, or a village calling forth lightning. For some people lightning could be a frequent experience that lights up the sky and passes in a moment. Or depending on your perspective, you might experience a cosmic moment of connectivity when the electrical energy in the atmosphere seeks a partner with the opposite charge, and equalizes the atmosphere with a show of light. When two of our Sisters saw Dale’s photo on CNN, they looked at one another and said “Christmas!” Sister Gabriel contacted her nephew and he agreed enthusiastically to let us use his photo for our Christmas greeting this year.

One Sister looked at the photo and saw the Word of God made flesh in a small town named Bethlehem, the sky alight with signs and wonders. For another Sister it was a dramatic demonstration of cosmic beauty that only now scientists are beginning to understand.  We see the little town and the great force of energy; the ordinary and the unusual.

The photo could be prompting our inner world, nudging memories and feelings from the past.  Or it could be calling our imagination into the future when ordinary people will ride a space craft beyond our atmosphere. It might be an invitation to ready ourselves to move from this life into the spiritual realm of life beyond death.

For all who are in awe of theology in conversation with scientific study, this is a reminder that theologians and scientists for most of the centuries following Christ’s life on earth worked closely together to express the reality and wonder of life.

The First Christmas was an open system, that is, people in their environment exchanging and sharing with one another: the Child, Mary, Joseph, shepherds and kings.  Animals provided not a small amount of chaos, entertainment and warmth. The Spirit of God works in openness and confusion.  God is with us.

United with you in prayer and affection,

your Sisters at St. Clare’s

091913 - Early Morning Nebraska Thunderstorms
What do you see?

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