Merry Christmas from Tom and I

by Christine Sine

Tom and I wish you and yours a blessed Advent, a Joyous Christmas and a new year filled with hope.  Join us in this invitation issued by Walter Brueggemann to sing a song of hope in troubled times.

Sing to the Lord a New Song

“Sing to the Lord a new song, his praise from the end of the earth! Let the sea roar and all that fills it, the coastlands and their inhabitants. Let the desert and its towns lift up their voice, the villages that Kedar inhabits; let the inhabitants of Sela sing for joy, let them shout from the tops of the mountains.” Isaiah 42:10-11

Can you imagine writing this poem and singing this song in exile? Can you imagine defying the empire by sketching out this daring alternative? Can you dare to sing this song under the nose of Babylonian soldiers, about a new reality that counters the empire? Think of it, new reality conjured in worship, by the choir, inviting to new courage, new faith, new energy, new obedience, new joy.

The new song is a protest. The new song is also a bold assertion, innocently declaring that the God of the gospel has plans and purposes and a will to reorder the world, to bring wholeness and health to the blind, the poor, the needy, to the nations os fearful and to the entire creation now so under killing assault. The song asserts God’s future against our present tense. 

It is no wonder, once the singing begins, that all creation sings and dances and claps with us. The whole creation sings about God’s new world. Heaven and nature sing and earth repeats a loud amen. We sing the song, even in exile, then we live the new reality. The Babylonians can not stop us, because the song is true and more powerful that the tearfulness of the world.  The exiles are indeed on their way— rejoicing.”

Celebrating Abundance, Second Monday of Advent,   Walter Brueggemann December 10, 2018

Celebrate with Us 

We are celebrating a growing chorus of voices on Godspace during this season of Advent. Thirty voices from 9 different countries herald the very good news, for a time like this, that not only a child is born, but hope is come anew. 

Gift of Wonder

We also celebrate the news that on March 26 InterVarsity Press will release Christine’s new book, The Gift of Wonder. This book offers readers the opportunity to view this gift of wonder and hope through the eyes of children. I can’t imagine a better way to begin 2019 than entering into the wonder of our young. 

We celebrate our delightful pup Goldie, now 18 months old and a joy to our lives. However she has developed a concerning addiction to socks, shoes, plastic and Tom’s cough lozenges. She even managed to dissect the remote control to our Christmas candles a few days ago.  

We celebrate what Mustard Seed Associates, now renamed Circlewood ( is becoming under the able leadership of James Amadon. We are excited by James passionate belief that care for the earth is meant to be integrated into God’s redemptive mission. We look forward to seeing how this is lived out through the development of the property on Camano Island as a program center for education and leadership.  

We celebrate the small community at the Mustard Seed House – Hilary and Trevor with their 2 kids Ephraim and Abram upstairs, us on the middle floor, Dan and Lisa in the basement apartment and Luke in the monk cell. We share meals together, have great conversations and continue to garden together. As a result we had one of the most successful vegetable growing seasons of many years.  

Tom and Christine speaking in Pennsylvania

We celebrate continuing opportunities to share our passion and concerns for a new generation. We are just back from being with Jill Young and a new generation of Christian College leaders at the Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania. We enjoyed the opportunity to speak at the annual banquet of Protestant Campus Ministry and were impressed that virtually all these young are Christians completing educational programs to become chaplains, work with hearing impaired or educate the next generation.  However we are concerned at how few Christians over 40 realize how much more expensive it is for this generation to launch.

Several students have school debt of over $80,000 for a public college education. They will also spend considerably more on housing as they launch their lives than their parents or grandparents typically spent.  As we race into the 2020s we urge all parents and grandparents to start savings programs as soon as possible not only for your own children but other children of promise so they have every possibility of launching their lives to be agents of compassion and hope.

Also consider renting rooms in your home for students of promise at significantly reduced rates to help them launch. Let’s all find ways to help Gen Next launch particularly those that are committed to investing their lives in having an impact in a world that needs a little hope. Let’s be God’s messengers of hope for Gen Next

We would love to hear what you and your church are doing to help those in Gen Next, who want to use their lives to make a difference in our troubled world in the 2020s, launch their lives.

We would also love to hear what brings rejoicing to your life and to your loved ones in this season of anticipation. We would love to hear what you are celebrating.

Tom and I and all of us at the Mustard Seed House, ask you to keep us in your prayers in troubled times.

Tom, Christine & Goldie 

Mustard Seed House Community

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