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Pastor's Corner
...musings from Salem's Pastor Kurt Traugott...


            As I write this, it’s one day before Advent.  Four weeks before Christmas, and a message of the second coming of Jesus, which is not filled with joy but sadness.  There is a famous painting in which the artist depicts the great encounter between Faust and Satan.  Faust gambled for his soul.  The painting pictures the two sitting at a chessboard, the devil leering because he has checkmated Faust’s king and knight.

            One day a famous master of chess went to the gallery in London to study the picture.  He spent hours meditating on the seemingly impossible situation it depicted.  He paced back and forth.  Then, to the utter amazement of the other art viewers in the gallery, he shouted his discovery.  “It’s a lie!”  It’s a lie!  The king and the knight have another move!”

            It seems to me that in a strange way, that is what Advent is preparing us for as we await the meaning of the Incarnation and the blessing of Christmas.  In Jesus Christ God always has another move.  In writing about how the Incarnation has touched her life Kathleen Norris, lifts this theme up.  She writes:  “When a place or time seems touched by its overshadowing, a sudden

 eclipsing of my priorities and plans…even in terrible circumstances and calamities, in matters of life and death, if I sense that I am in the shadow of God, I find light, so much light that my vision improves dramatically, I know that holiness is near.  And it is not robed in majesty.  It does not assert itself with raw power but it waits in puzzlement, it hesitates.  Coming from Galilee, as it were, from a place of little hope it reveals the ordinary circumstances of my life to be full of mystery and gospel which means “good news.” 

And it is in the mystery and the gospel that we shall discover God’s next move for our lives.

            Blessings to each of you during these holy and mysterious seasons of Advent and Christmas.

                                                                                                                                                 Pastor Kurt+

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