One of the best essays that I read this year was this one by Paul Kingsnorth. It stands well on its own, even as it also serves as a necessary coda to his most recent (and wonderfully written) book, Savage Gods. Both recount significant aspects of Kingsnorth’s own journey. His Substack, The Abbey of Misrule, is also worth following.
The folks at unherd.com recently posted another Kingsnorth piece, this one more about Christmas. His first one, really. A snippet about that:
This will be my first Christmas in the church. The Orthodox church, into which I was baptised just under a year ago, has a deep and old and demanding practice around this festival of light. For the last forty days, we have been fasting: today the fast is broken. A child is born, and everything has changed. The birth of Christ marked the beginning of a new age. The Orthodox church talks of Jesus of Nazareth as the “second Adam”. The first human messed up by rejecting God — by choosing control over communion, and falling into self-love. The incarnation of God in human form corrects the error: we get a second chance to turn from ourselves and look to the greater whole.
As the lights of Christmas Day dim, here’s a song to mark the moment. It’s actually Scripture under the guise of a children’s song by Randall Goodgame. Here’s a version of the song they used to Kickstart the album that included a song based on Galatians 4:4-7. Definitely a song appropriate to the day.