The Gavle Goat still stands, my friends.
I realized that I’d never checked in on the massive straw Yule Goat that resides in Gavle, Sweden; as of February 3, it has been bedecked with flowers to welcome a visiting Chinese delegation.
I don’t know if I’m sad or happy that vandals did not succeed in burning the goat down this year. I like tradition, I also like iconoclasts. I’m a little divided, to say the least. I mentioned back in Advent that the tradition of putting up the goat is a communal and relational action of the people of Gavle, but so too is the attempted arson and protection back-and-forth that unites a divided community (or divides a united community? Swedish traditions are awesome and weird).
This week, I’m out of the office, but I’m thinking of you. We’ll be wrapping up our sermon series on Roots to Fruits with Outrageous Covenant. Covenants are promises in relationship. Not promises the relationships will be perfect, amazing and without conflict, but promises in relationship. For better or worse, as the wedding vows say. God has made covenant with us, we have made covenant with God and each other, and we have work to do. Now and always. I hope we’ll do it together.
I promise I won’t come back with a sun tan or anything on Sunday, but maybe you will. I’ll see you then.