Reflections on Advent: Music, Mindfulness, and Movement Week 3 — Real Love

Reflections on Advent: Music, Mindfulness, and Movement Week 3 — Real Love December 18, 2015

shutterstock_255631885-25:00am text messages that read, “please call me, its urgent” are harbingers of unfortunate news, and this one, received on the second week of December was no different.

After making the call and finding out the details the heaviness of it all began to sink in. A beloved lay leader in our church, who was highly involved in our faith formation ministry for children and youth, had passed away suddenly.

Death comes with a heaviness at any time, but the unexpected loss of life brings a different kind of weight. Adding to the sorrow was that the week before we as the Church community had just heard reports of a surgery going extremely well and the recovery process seemed to be on track.

This was not supposed to happen, and especially not during the holiday season. Added to all the chaos of the world news I was not sure how much “Love” would be mustered at the church for the 3rd week of advent, and the lighting of the Love candle.

So often in our society we picture “love” as a syrupy shallow attraction-based emotion.   We look for the romance story and see only the moments of tender connection and unbridled passion and often think of this as the apex of Love.

Yet what my church community re-taught is that Love is so much more.  As the community gathered around the grief of this sudden loss, the Christ love that we had been ritualistically preparing for emerged in unexpected ways and places.

Through the tears and the pain the power of Love seemed to meld with Spirit and moved in the midst of our community.

Love became known in unexpected ways.

Love is showing up in the hospital to find multiple other church people simply being present, and learning later that many stayed with the family throughout the night.

Love is a children’s choir dedicating a song in worship to one of their beloved teachers who had passed away too soon.

Love is a community pulling together to host a celebration of life for close to 300 people in a sanctuary that normally holds 160.   Each chair moved, classroom reorganized into a gathering place, tables rented, and linens pressed were all acts of love.

Yet the fullness of love does not stop there, and this is the difficult part, but Love was also in the pain and grief that so many experienced.

At the celebration of life service I shared that the pain we felt in our loss was an extension of the Love and connection we shared with this saint of our church.

It is because we have Loved that we hurt, that we mourn, that we grieve when we experience loss

In this season of advent I pray that we might all find space to connect with that depth Love.   The divine Love that is/was/and shall forever be for us, through us and with us.

This is the story of our Christ. A love that flows so deeply that it connects us, builds us up, and eventually pains us when we have to say good-bye.

What if we were to believe that part of our call as Christians was to receive love deeply and transmit that love freely to all whom we come in contact with?

What if we took a moment daily to reflect not on “how was your day,” but instead on, “how did you give Love today and how did you receive Love today?”

For in the coming of the Christ child, in the coming of “God with us,” this Love knows no boundaries, all are recipients and givers of this divine miracle we know as Love.

May we embrace our calling to Love deeply, radically, and without exceptions.

Invitation to Musical Meditation

Track: The Reminders “You Can Count On Me”


Find a space where you can be alone and uninterrupted for the next 4 minutes.

Or again, you can take this song and walk with it allowing the music to free your heart space.

This week I invite you to take a few minutes after hearing this song and write down what Love means to you. What does it look like? What does it feel like?

Image courtesy of

391960_10150946264820456_17996160_nRev. Corbin Tobey-Davis was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. Corbin holds an undergraduate degree from Doane College (a historic UCC college in Crete, Nebraska), and a Masters of Divinity degree from Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California. In August of 2011 Corbin was called as the associate minister of Youth, Young Adults, and Community Ministries at Parkview Congregational Church UCC in Aurora Colorado. Corbin is also a drummer, a hip-hop freestyle cypher Emcee, a community organizer, and considers ministry one expression of his art. He believes in the power of art as means to transcend boundaries, build community, create ritual, and connect with the Divine essence of life.

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