On Fallow Month

Every year at The Village we observe fallow month in December. “Fallow” is a farming term which means to leave a field unplanted. This gives the field a chance to rest and replenish nutrients. We practice fallow month to give us space to rest. We try not to fill up the month with events, but rather we take time off from our pilgrim groups, monastic communities and other events. The intent is to give our community space to be in each other’s homes to celebrate together. The pastors take this time to rest also. Sometimes we do bigger projects or just try to seek God in the extra space.

This year, as you well know at this point, has been different to say the least. To continue the farming metaphor, its been a year of fire and famine and of lost crops. We have practiced almost a sort of forced fallowness this whole year. I came across a song recently about the Great Irish Famine that was written from the perspective of a parish priest pleading with God. As I listened I found myself weeping because though this year hasn’t quite been a famine to that extent, the song spoke to the helplessness I’ve felt this year. It spoke to my pleading with God over the loss of life, and relationship, and growth. One conversation I’ve had with Eric and Rod over and over this year is about what we think God is doing with this year, what He might want to teach our community, what we are called to in this forced solitude.

This year for fallow month we are practicing a sort of partial fallowness. Some of our pilgrim groups have continued to meet. Some of our pastoral meetings will continue. But I want you to consider the word fallow with us. What does rest look like in this season? What does celebrating together look like when we can’t all be together as we would hope to be? What does joy (the pleasure of God’s company) look like this advent?

Finally, I invite you to meditate on the words of David in Psalm 23, and consider what it means that we lack nothing, that the Lord refreshes our souls, that he is with us in the darkest places, that his love follows us all the days of our lives.

“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

2 Comments

  1. Ron Wyman

    Christianity has marked December 25 each year since the emperor Constantine inaugurated it to celebrate Christ Jesus” birth. It was a mixture of pagan, secular, Christianity. Presently Christmas continues to be a mixture of those same grounds and a buying spree to keep the economy from making a natural adjustment towards the south to keep warm.
    With the hustle and bustle of the season and winter and normal everyday life disrupted by filled with uncertainty, fear and isolation it is easy to loose focus on the birth and life of Jesus. Born so very long ago in a society and time that is not 21st Century America.
    The facts of the BIRTH and LIFE of JESUS of NASARETH ushering in the long awaited and anticipated MESSIAH who is and was The CHRIST Jesus. That HIS GOSPEL a message of epic and grand importance. That this Jesus is the LORD OF LORDS, THE KING OF KINGS, THE GOD of gODS. Jesus is the Central Focal Point in History–THE ALPHA & OMEGA. Jesus is Here as THE KING, His Kingdom is all that He created The Kingdom of God began to unfold with his Birth in Bethlehem. His LIFE was devoted to bestowing LOVE on His people and Teaching His ways to those he discipled. He lived a good life doing what the Father was doing, living a life that shines as miracle, as was his birth and death. Only He could do it. During His life bestowing Love, He also illuminated evil on the world and people.
    This illumination caused discomfort and pain to all that was evil. As a natural consequence to the evil in humans, we fled away from Jesus, yet we needed to destroy the light so we could be free of it’s beacon pursuing our evilness. Jesus being the smart man/Creator he is fooled these evil men, He has a plan. This plan started before anything was created. No atoms or molecules, no time, no space, There was only God! That is not anything we can comprehend, yet Jesus does.
    This plan was in fact good news for all of His Creation (including humanity). It starts in the Geneses or Source GOD. and then the creation of a perfect existence with a planet (Earth) and on this planet he creates all sorts of things including human beings, plants, animals, atoms molecules, time and space, and he says that these created human beings are very good and have some qualities that God (Triune Deity) also possess. The human beings rebel against their creator, as is our human nature (evil).
    Not to worry, all is going as planned. God is total control. Some time latter God comes across others that will work as “markers” to this plan for us humans to see and reflect about his handiwork. Then Jesus is born without human intervention. This is a once in a Humanity event. A solo performance by the hand of God., and as is his handiwork not a repeat performance. .Jesus is born, he had to be in total submission to his created human beings. That something to ponder. He grew up in total submission to all authority figures, no rebellion in his words, attitude, actions. Wow! I ‘m a lot like that. Not!! He has a great zeal for the Jewish Religion and teachings, He is devoted to seeing the works of His Father around the people and events around him. He lives a life as a light shinning His Fathers Light on an evil and corrupt world were even the faith and believes of Israel, have been impacted by religious rituals and rights imposed by humans.
    Again not to worry this is part of the plan of the gospel. Jesus is in Control.. Jesus is King
    Jesus message was that the Messiah who was promised and THOUGHT by most to over through the Roman Government and install Himself as King or Messiah. That is not exactly how it turned out then.
    The birth, life, death, ascension and promised return is a part of the gospel. But I think that the really cool part of the gospel Jesus came to earth as a way to show how much he Loves and Cherishes us by humbling himself, by teaching us His ways, with attorning our evil nature on the cross, and therefore Jesus, the Messiah is now ushering in the Kingdom of God, including Earth. This is a message long awaited the Israel nation and the Israelites, and faithful Jews. The descendants of Abraham ruled by the one and only YHWY in the form of the Messiah Jesus as King. Gentile and Jew next to the lion and lamb. A Kingdom with no end—living with no evil and living in harmony together with God. Doing Great things. PSALM 23
    That is my opinion

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