Gathered Wisdom, Dec. 22

A weekly collection of inspiration and resources for the journey, gathered from websites, books, and pass-alongs that have been shared with us. From The Wisdom Years – Spirituality for the Last Third of Our Lives.

Advent Week 4: Prepare the Way


by Carla Pineda

I am sitting amidst the sounds of the washing machine and the coffee pot
It is a new day, the Winter Solstice, my sister’s birthday, the week of Christmas
A candle flame glows gentle
I take time for a pause in this time of a long dark
I sit slow, move gentle
Immerse myself in this place of unknowing
Embrace the darkness
It is good for the soul

Find Carla at

Taking Another Way Home

If you have not already, please let us know if you want to be part of this three-week study.

The Magi chose to return home by another road, scripture tells us. But their journey was certainly not ended – only changed after having met the Christ. Our own journey, we have discovered in these later years, never ends – but it too has been transformed by walking it with Christ. 
What does that journey look like now? Which roads will we take in this last third of our lives? What from our lived experience will sustain us on this further journey, and what new revelations await us?

Join us for a short, three-session workshop as we claim the wisdom of the Magi for our own lives.
Jan 7, 14, and 21, 4 to 5:15 pm (Central time) by Zoom.

There is no cost, and no outside material is needed.

Indicate interest by sending an email to Marjorie George at


An Advent week 4 reflection
by Diana Butler Bass

When the medieval church assigned “Hell” to the Fourth Sunday of Advent, I’m certain they wanted to scare people about their eternal state — to straighten up and get right with God to prepare for Jesus’ coming. I’m equally certain that those preachers weren’t thinking about the hell that we humans make right here on earth.

Read the entire essay.

FROM the blog of Diana Butler Bass

Keeping Watch with the Shepherds in Bethlehem

by Fr. Ron Rolheiser, OMI

John’s Gospel doesn’t give us a description of Mary and Joseph in a stable at Bethlehem.
Instead, it describes the coming of Jesus at Christmas in an image, a light shone in the darkness. Notice that John doesn’t say that a light shone into the darkness, but that it shone in the darkness. That’s an important distinction.
Christmas, Christ being born in our world, is very much about finding God inside of what’s commonplace and inside even the darkness of sin, violence, war, greed, and the indifference that sometimes seem everywhere.

Read the entire essay

FROM the blog of Ron Rolheiser

Of Hearts and Pretzels

A sermon by the Rev. Jay George

On the fourth Sunday of Advent, Fr. Jay compares the hearts of three leaders we find in Scripture – Moses, Pharaoh, and Mary – and finds that one has a hard heart, one has a hollow heart, and one has a holy heart.

Watch the video

From Grace Church, San Antonio TX


There are so many people now shrouded in darkness. Be a light-bearer. Pray that the light of Christ be mirrored in your countenance: through your prayer, voice, writing, and giving. Don’t hide the light. Let it shine!
-Br. Curtis Almquist
Society of St.John the Evangelist

If you have something to add to Gathered Wisdom, send it to Marjorie George at

Gathered Wisdom is from The Wisdom Years, a ministry that invites older adults to deepening spirituality in the last third of their lives. If someone forwarded this to you, learn more about The Wisdom Years and subscribe to the site at

Gathered Wisdom is taking the week off next week. See you on January 5.
Be Blessed this Christmas.

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