Pastor’s Message – December 22, 2020

My Favorite Things: 2020 Edition

For this last newsletter of 2020, I’d like to share briefly about the book, album, and movie that have resonated most with me this year. These are not necessarily “the best of the year,” but they have been “the best for me this year.” I hope this sharing will encourage you to reflect on where you’ve heard God’s voice, too.

The Unwinding of the Miracle: A Memoir of Life, Death, and Everything that Comes After by Julie Yip-Williams (book): I had intended to read this book when working on my doctoral thesis, but it was displaced by necessary academic reads. When I finally read it back in February, I was blown away by Yip-Williams’ story. She reflects on her life as a young woman dying of cancer, and she manages not to shy away from lament but also not to avoid humor. And what a life it is. I especially love the cameo appearance of how a local church enters the story in a powerful way towards the end.

Reunions by Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit: Every album Jason Isbell releases seems better than the one before. This one arrived in May, and though it was recorded before the pandemic, its messages resonated nonetheless. One of my favorite lyrics is, “It gets easier, but it never gets easy.” And when I heard, “Dreamsicle,” I immediately bought a box of dreamsicles to eat on my back porch in the hot summer months: a small but wonderful pleasure!

Little Women (movie): The last movie I saw in the theater was on January 3, and it was Greta Gerwig’s marvelous production of Little Women. Technically the movie came out in 2019, but I’m claiming seeing it with a friend in the theater as one of the best parts of 2020. Because so much of the story takes place at Christmas, I look forward to watching it again to close out 2020. The story is familiar, of course, but this is a whole new way of telling it: much like the Greatest Story we will hear this week, too!

all good things to each of you,
Dr. Darian

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