Iron Mountain ski jump

Iron Mountain ski jump

Friday, December 28, 2012


CHRIST IN WINTER: Reflections on Faith from a place of winter For the Years of Winter…
While our pastor recovers from heart bypass surgery, I’m filling in. During the worship last Sunday, not counting announcements and items printed in the bulletin and hymnal, I uttered, out loud, 6,820 words.
I don’t write those words down ahead of time. I figure if I can’t comprehend and remember them in my brain and spirit as I speak them, I can’t expect those in the pews to comprehend and remember them as they listen. That does not mean I don’t prepare. I spend almost every waking moment in the week before a worship service, sometimes several weeks, sifting through the words I might speak on the scriptures and the subject of the day. For the 6,820 words I finally utter, there are 675,180 I don’t speak, that are rejected as being unworthy of God and not useful for the congregation. Only one percent of the words that go through my brain comes out of my mouth.
The words spoken are a gift. The words NOT spoken are often an even greater gift. That is true every time we speak, even though most of us are never in the pulpit.
Rejoice, ye peoples, ye peoples of Chrisney and Crossroads and Bloomfield, of Solsberry and Koleen and Mineral, of Greene County Chapel and Walkers Chapel, of Cedar Lake and Creston, of Terre Haute Centenary, of Normal First, of Stanwood and Red Oak Grove, of Orion, of Hoopeston, of Charleston Wesley, of Mattoon Faith, of Arcola, of Mason City Wesley, of Walnut, of Tampico, of Morrison, of Sterling Wesley, of Iron Mountain Trinity, rejoice in the 99% that God led me NOT to utter on the Sundays of the last 56 years.
Rejoice ye people who read Christ In Winter, in the several thousand words God took away to the recycle bin so that you would have to read, not counting the announcements, only 316.
Rejoice, ye peoples of the world, as we come toward the end of Advent/Christmas, the season of preparation and proclamation, that God prepared well enough that it was necessary to speak but one Word.
John Robert McFarland
The “place of winter” mentioned in the title line is Iron Mountain, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, where life is defined by winter even in the summer!
You are always welcome to Forward or Repost or Reprint. It’s okay to acknowledge the source, unless it embarrasses you too much. It is okay to refer the link to folks you know or to print it in a church newsletter or bulletin, or make it into a movie or TV series.
{I also write the fictional “Periwinkle Chronicles” blog. One needs a rather strange sense of humor to enjoy it, but occasionally it is slightly funny. It is at}


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