Posts Tagged ‘Genesis 1: 1-10


12.29.18 … “God bless all of you on the good Earth” …

Christmas Traditions

I started my Christmas Traditions series on Facebook and WordPress in response to a prompt by a dear friend and writer Elizabeth Musser.

Shortly after starting, I attended an event called Creative Mornings CLT. It is held the first Friday of every month and features a guest speaker. December’s speaker was Dr. Stephanie Kripa Cooper-Lewter, and she talked broadly about “traditions.” She defined “traditions” as “Beliefs, actions. behaviors or stories handed down from one generation to another. How we do things, shaped by our families, cultures and the places we live.” She noted that some traditions are “healing traditions.” They are, “Ones that empower, celebrate, share humanity and build community.”

So I pondered that as I wrote about MY traditions. Are they just mine or are they also my family’s, my faith community’s, my community’s, my state’s, my South’s , my countries, my culture’s … or something more …

And are they healing traditions? Do they empower, celebrate, share humanity and build community?

For the second time recently I have focused on a quote by Thích Nhất Hạnh . The quote this time is, time, “If you look deeply into the palm of your hand, you will see your parents and all generations of your ancestors … You are the continuation of each of these people.”

One of Dr. Cooper-Lewter’s last quotes was by Mother Teresa: “If we have no peace, it’s because we have forgotten we belong to each other.”

During the next 12 months, I will look at my Christmas traditions and make an honest evaluation of them in light of empowerment and peace. I want to be both a continuation of those that came before me and a part of something bigger.

I don’t want to forget that we belong to each other … and I want peace …

And I loved looking back on Apollo 8 this Christmas.

Apollo 8 — its astronauts at 55 hours, 39 minutes, and 55 seconds into their mission crossing a barrier no human had even approached before, the line between the gravitational realm of the Earth and that of the moon — was an achievement of technology tinged with a strain of theology. It was an important turning point for national security and national identity, a fresh symbol of the surpassing power of television and a welcome tonic to the travails of everyday life on Earth.

And 50 years ago Monday, as the inhabitants of a weary nation wrapped their presents on Christmas Eve, trod through snowy streets to Mass, set their holiday tables, and reflected on the meaning of the season, the crew of Frank Borman, Bill Anders, and Lovell, the first humans to orbit another heavenly body, marked the lunar sunset by reciting the first 10 verses of the Book of Genesis — a dramatic rebuff to the (likely apocryphal but still powerful) remark of Yuri Gagarin, the Soviet cosmonaut who was the first man to ride a space capsule into Earth orbit, that there was no God in space.

In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

Source: ‘God bless all of you on the good Earth’: Remembering the daring Apollo 8 mission – The Boston Globe,

God bless all of you on the good Earth


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May 2020