Archive: Dec 2021



“Emmanuel:” A Christmas Day Reflection by Thomas McKenzie

By The Rabbit Room

Merry Christmas from the Rabbit Room! In celebration, we’re sharing a Christmas Day reflection by Thomas McKenzie from his Advent devotional The Harpooner, accompanied by Sara Groves’s nativity song “Just Like They Said.”

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Battle Hymn of the Body

By Shigé Clark

[Editor’s note: As we enter into the celebration of Christmas, we’d like to share with you a profound piece from Shigé Clark that has grown more deeply pertinent since it was first published in 2019. In it, she explores the history of “Battle Hymn of the Republic” in tension with the ways in which the gospel testifies that peace will come to earth.]

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Waiting to Love Well: Advent, Friendship & the New Creation

By Carly Marlys

Advent has always been described to me as a time of waiting for the coming of the Christ child, and throughout my childhood, I accepted that information and didn’t waste too much brain space on it. Even when I did consider the implications of Advent, it always seemed so ceremonial and almost archaic to me, a beautiful ceremony without an abundance of practical application. The birth of Christ had already happened in time and space, in history, and while I understood the need and desire to celebrate that fact, I didn’t really understand why we still insisted on waiting. The light of the world has come. What are we waiting for in the Advent season specifically? Is it just a reminder? A sacrament like the Eucharist that mysteriously points back to the crucified Christ and forward to the renewal of all things? Maybe. I certainly don’t pretend to be an expert, but this year, Advent has meant something else to me.

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The Habit Podcast: John Cal, Writer-Chef

By The Rabbit Room

This week on The Habit Podcast, Jonathan Rogers talks with John Cal, a celebrity chef—at least among those who have participated in the Rabbit Room’s Hutchmoot gathering in the past few years. His food-related essay/orations are a Hutchmoot highlight.

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True Testimony: What Makes It Through by Sara Groves

By Drew Miller

As I listened to Sara Groves’s new album on repeat, my mind grasped for the best way to describe what makes her songwriting so special. And as I grasped away, a moment from one of my favorite movies kept stubbornly arising in my head. It’s a scene from towards the end of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, a special moment of understanding that unfolds between the story’s eponymous protagonist and his elusive, enigmatic idol, Sean O’Connell.

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Advent Collection, Week Four: Kirstin Jeffrey Johnson, Page CXVI, & Tim Joyner

By The Rabbit Room

For 2021’s Advent season, we’ve shared curated collections of art, short essays, music, and more each Monday. This final week’s Advent collection includes a short essay from Kirstin Jeffrey Johnson called “That Holy Thing;” a painting called “Incarnation” by Tim Joyner; and “Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus” from Page CXVI.

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Key of David

By Rebecca D. Martin

“Are we really doing this?” my husband asks from the driver’s seat, damp and chilly. My resolve begins to waver, but the wail rising from the back of the van nips any change of plan in the bud. “I want to get a Christmas treeeee!!!” It may be raining out; it may be the Monday evening after Thanksgiving; the tree lots may be completely picked over. We are going to get a tree. We settle for Lowe’s, where a few of the trees—the old, the crooked, the growing brittle and dry and less sellable by the day, I suspect—are under an overhang, out of the drizzle, and won’t get the inside of our van or our house too wet.

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(Whatever You Do, Don’t) Ask Doug! #3

By Doug McKelvey

Dear Dare I Asketh Thee, Doug?

I have been way waaaay waaaaaaaaay into your column for more than a year now, poring over it for a strictly regimented 16 hours per day in order to puzzle out the clandestine clues and hidden codes you have so expertly embedded in your obscure phrasings.

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The Habit Podcast: Shawn Smucker Has Been Working Hard

By The Rabbit Room

This week on The Habit Podcast, Jonathan Rogers talks with Shawn Smucker, who has published five novels in the last five years—most recently, The Weight of Memory.

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The World Was an Ocean

By Helena Sorensen

I’m feeling a little lost these days, as though I’ve awakened from a troubling dream to find that nothing is where it was or as it was. I’ve entered my forties during a nationwide cultural and religious shift, during a global pandemic, and a future that once presented a hazy but recognizable profile has become a blank. The energy that carried me through other seasons of difficulty has run out. I am groping for the familiar on an alien planet.

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A Liturgy for Those Who Suffer Loss from Fire, Flood, or Storm

By The Rabbit Room

We first shared this liturgy in March 2020, in the wake of a devastating tornado in Nashville. Nearly one year later, we shared it for our friends in Texas after their widespread blackout. And now, we share it for all who are reeling from their own devastation after this weekend’s tornadoes, especially in southern Kentucky. We’re saddened that this liturgy continues to prove so relevant, but once again, we hope and pray that it may lend words to a situation that defies description.

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Advent Collection, Week Three: Malcolm Guite, Kyra Hinton, & Graham Jones

By The Rabbit Room

For 2021’s Advent season, we’re sharing curated collections of art, short essays, music, and more each Monday. This week’s Advent collection includes a poem & short essay by Malcolm Guite called “O Sapientia” from his Advent book Waiting on the Word; an ink painting by Kyra Hinton called “Resonance”; and a nativity song from the perspective of Joseph called “Son of David” by Graham Jones, taken from his new Advent album Good News, Great Joy.

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