One of the elders in the church I grew up in said that her first encounter with mystery as a child was comprehending the picture of the little girl on the Morton salt container. If you recall this image, a young girl is holding a container of Morton salt, upon which there is an image of another little girl holding a container of Morton salt, upon which (if you could see something that small) there is another image of a girl holding a container of Morton salt, and this goes on into infinity! The realization brought awe and wonder at such a mystery.
Although we can experience mystery at any time of year, the winter holidays invite us to park our usual skepticism and enter into the wonder of a child’s face, or the awe at the expanse of the universe, or the ground of love underlying our families–which may keep us coming back to them even when they drive us crazy!
Which mysteries are you slamming the door upon these days? What mystery is calling to you to open the door? At the Worship Associate retreat when we discussed the theme of mystery, some said they absolutely loved figuring out literary mysteries. Others said they preferred to let the Mystery be.
Can you dwell with mystery under the starry skies, or do you need to know the names of the constellations? Or can you do both? Can you enter the tender story of a babe born amid challenging circumstances and wrapped in swaddling clothes as we hear on Christmas Eve in the bible story from Luke? Can you let the mystery of birth and love open your heart even in these challenging times? Or is the mystery of infinity just too much to contemplate?
Rev. Dena McPhetres, Associate Minister