In the quiet hush of Advent, we find ourselves waiting on tiptoe, our hearts tuned to the ancient promises whispered through the prophet Jeremiah. Like a gentle breeze that stirs the soul, these words invite us to embrace the hope that dances on the edges of our longing.
I am one who feels God’s presence more deeply in nature, whether I’m hiking or gardening, looking at grand vistas or noticing small pollinators or new buds. I often think of some of the wisdom shared by Robin Wall Kimmerer, botanist and member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation in her book, Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teaching of Plants. She so eloquently brings these very different worldviews together to show us what we can learn from nature. A book well worth meditating on.
On Sunday, when we realized Dr. Kelly might not be coming to the adult forum, Toni Sveom stepped in to share her excitement about a book she is in the middle of reading, The Cost of Free Land by Rebecca Clarren, an award-winning journalist, writing about her Jewish family’s settling in western South Dakota after fleeing Russian pogroms.
In his Friday devotion, “Embracing Reconciliation,” Pastor Peter quoted Dr. Kelly’s website: “Her work primarily focuses on systemic theology, with a unique approach to Lakota Spirituality and how it can inform Christianity and instill healing.” With that in mind, I’d like to share part of the “INDIGENOUS PEOPLE’S CELEBRATION, A Service of Indigenous People,” written and compiled by Kelly when she was a Doctoral student at Luther Seminary and active member of the American Indian/Alaska Native Lutheran Association Inc board of directors.
In the soft glow of Thanksgiving’s warmth, our hearts resonate with the echoes of gratitude and generosity. We’ve woven threads of love into the tapestry of community, creating a vibrant mosaic of shared blessings. Yet, as the autumn leaves surrender to the inevitable chill, we find ourselves standing at the threshold of a new season — Advent.
Yesterday, while many of us were celebrating a day of Thanksgiving, some of our Native neighbors marked the occasion as a “Day of Mourning.” This practice and the accompanying solemn commemorations serve as a way to to honor Native ancestors and their stories, while fostering greater awareness and understanding among the public about the destructive history of the white Europeans that colonized the lands which were their homes.