One of my favorite events of the years has been our OCC Fall Fest. Its an extravaganza of food and community. Starts at the Pumpkin farm for a hayride to the pumpkin field, picking out pumpkins, petting the animals and most importantly, purchasing the freshly home-made warm apple fritters. Then the folk head back to my house to meet up with many others for different assortments of chili and cornbread followed by a buffet of autumn desserts . . . pumpkin pie, apples and cinnamon, pumpkin crunch and a few other rich chocolate deals. Good coffee, cider and hot chocolate to wash it all down. We took some time to sing in worship and reflection then head out to the fire for smores and more community time under the stars. Having my faith community in my house partaking of Christ's abundance and worshipping His presence is just a continual dream come true for me. Its authentic, real and healthy, something I've longed for in my church career.
I admitt that I am native to the postmodern worldview in that I don't see history and the future as a great line of progression as modernists out of the age of the Enlightenment have. Rather I understand that this Story is pretty cyclical and is lived and expressed in the journey along the way, not in the end. So celebrating the seasons is very important to me. Much like our church ancestors who lived in agricultural societies had feasts and celebrations that coalated with the harvest calendar, living in the Midwest, we have all 4 seasons. Celebrating the seasons can be a community discipline to our spiritual rythymn. It gives us context for how we live, it also allows us to mark time in who we are as a people together. I am reminded of how important the seasons were in Ireland as St. Patrick used these times of celebration to proclaim and exalt the Triune God who had always been amongst them, now Patrick was giving them the full revelation in Jesus Christ.
Celebrating feasts and the seasons to me is a form of a new Monasticism. This is how we are monking in the real world. Rythymn, focus, hearts submitted to God, living as a communal people, giving God the thanks for our daily bread, celebrating simplicity. We live in suburbia, but we are not of it. We belong to a separate Kingdom, but we live in suburbia to be carriers of that Kingdom virus who look to infect the culture around us.
Stop and notice the Kingdom around you today,