Peace for your Path...

"peace. it does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. it means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart." (unknown)

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas Morning

I was reminded of this beautiful song last night during church services. Though we didn't sing it right then, I hurried to copy down the words from the hymnal. I heard the song years ago on one of my favorite Christmas albums by Shawn Colvin. Her version is slightly different.

I had no idea that one of my favorite poets wrote the original lyrics or that it was even really a hymn. 
I just love it....

Here are both versions for you as an early Christmas morning gift. Have a most blessed day, everyone. 

Love, Robin

Words: Christina Georgina Rossetti (1830-1894), before 1886

Music: "Garton," traditional Irish melody
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF / XML

Love came down at Christmas,
Love all lovely, Love Divine;
Love was born at Christmas,
Star and Angels gave the sign.

Worship we the Godhead,
Love Incarnate, Love Divine;
Worship we our Jesus:
But wherewith for sacred sign?

Love shall be our token,
Love be yours and love be mine,
Love to God and all men,
Love for plea and gift and sign.

Monday, December 12, 2011


I hesitate to write this because I really don't have the words formed anywhere near just the way I'd like. But I am getting something like that pounding, bursting, hot feeling in my chest that happens occasionally when I find myself sitting in a large gathering of people and suddenly feel there is something pressing I need to say out loud. The incredibly frightening part of getting such a feeling (like that and like this) is that I rarely ever have a clue what I will actually be saying out loud until after I open my mouth. For a person (like me) who is deathly afraid of public speaking, this fairly frequent occurrence can be more than a little unsettling.

But it's been many hours since the Solitude Retreat this past Saturday morning when I sat silently on a bench  staring at my own feet and outward at the feet of Mary, and this suggestion of a thought is now rambling around and around in my brain so loudly now that no matter how hard I try to distract myself, I only think it will get louder until I finally stop, submit and write it out.

(This is how things seem to go for me. Big stuff sticks and won't turn me loose. I simply have to write it out.)

Maybe this suggestion is sort of radical. Or maybe you have thought about this idea yourself for a long time and to you it makes perfect sense (if so, please let me know). Because I don't know (and hopefully I don't have to understand it, but merely name it). For me, this growing awareness began surfacing many years ago, when I finally began stretching awake from the dark and sleepy stupor of myself. Since the moment the alarm went off, my stumbling, morning walk has been equal parts comforting and terrifying in a kind of "it all seems so simple and so incredibly impossible" type of way.

But anyway, here goes...

What if the Second Advent we are preparing for during this Christmas Season of Expectation is less of an external event than it is an internal one? What if those of us who have accepted Jesus into our hearts are now being called to a deeper awareness of the physical and figurative in-dwelling of Christ? What if the Kingdom of God is so readily "at hand" that it exists right this very moment, right inside our very own hearts, and that we are walking around not even aware of it? What if, like Mary, we are each - man, woman and child alike - preparing ourselves for a great and sacred Birth that is impossible to fully comprehend and also impossible to delay? What if this "Birthing" is really a "Submitting" to the Christ who has always been Alive and Dwelling in our hearts/minds/souls from our very first breath on earth? And, what IF Christ's heavenly entry back into our broken, human world is intended and necessary and required to start in the womb of our own broken human lives and bodies? What if this miracle can only happen by way of the LOVE we commit to share with one another and  ALL THE OTHERS  through the surrender of the gift of our lives?

I hope this was what I was supposed to say out loud to whoever might read this today. Thanks for listening.

Peace for your Path,

Sunday, December 11, 2011

sing a little song...

We'll have some very special young labyrinth walkers with us this week at Good Shepherd for just a little bit. Bring your singing voices along :) 
(This Thursday December 15th from 10am to 12pm)

The Friendly Beasts

Jesus, our Brother, strong and good,

Was humbly born in a stable rude,

And the friendly beasts around Him stood,
Jesus, our Brother, strong and good.

“I,” said the donkey, shaggy and brown,
“I carried His mother uphill and down,
I carried His mother to Bethlehem town;
I,” said the donkey, shaggy and brown.

“I,” said the cow, all white and red,
“I gave Him my manger for His bed,
I gave Him hay to pillow His head;
I,” said the cow, all white and red.

“I,” said the sheep with curly horn,
“I gave Him my wool for His blanket warm,
He wore my coat on Christmas morn;
I,” said the sheep with curly horn.

“I,” said the dove, from the rafters high,
“I cooed Him to sleep that He should not cry,
We cooed Him to sleep, my mate and I;
I,” said the dove, from the rafters high.

Thus all the beasts, by some good spell,
In the stable dark were glad to tell
Of the gifts they gave Emmanuel,
The gifts they gave Emmanuel.

See you on the Path!

P.S. If you'd prefer our traditional silent labyrinth walking experience, then please wait and come just a little past 11am. Thanks!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Third Thursdays on the Labyrinth is coming up next week!

All walkers are welcome to drop by anytime between 10am and 12pm to enjoy an open labyrinth walk on Thursday, December 15th in celebration of Advent.

Visit the Good Shepherd website for directions:

Peace for your Path,

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Great Blue Heron

The Great Blue Heron

“and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love.” – Ephesians 3: 17-19

A few winters ago, I was sitting on our lanai sipping my morning coffee when the most majestic Great Blue Heron glided past me to land gracefully at the water’s edge. I was immediately overcome by the metaphor of Christ’s own dramatic descent to earth to dwell among us. I trembled with the realization that the mighty Son of God temporarily relinquished his power over the heavens to humbly land on frail human legs so that I might begin to comprehend the true meaning of Love...

Silent Heron Herald glides,
steel-blue wings extend -
on willow-wisp legs.

( I just found this image on this lovely website:

Loving Father, Jesus, Spirit, thank you for the ways you speak deeply into my heart through the mystery of your Creation. Thank you for opening my eyes to the beauty of your natural Love. Amen

Robin Bradley Hansel

(Special thanks to First Pres of NPB for including my poetry and reflection in their Advent Devotional again this year).