"I've come at last," said he. "She has kept me out for a long time, but I have got in at last. Aslan is on the move. The Witch's magic is weakening." Father Christmas From The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
Advent reflects the heart of InSpero, living in this now-and-not-yet time. It is a time of waiting and wondering, of remembering and longing, of acknowledging a world that is not as it should be, but still a world glimmering with a "thousand points of light" in the darkness.
Our dear friend and board member Steven Garber reflected on this in 2015:
“Always winter. Never Christmas...I have staked my life on something more: that this wounded world, this very broken world, is not the last word. Simply said, I believe in Christmas, and in a Christmas that has moral meaning. Cursed as we are, cursed as this life so often seems, it will not always be winter. Christmas has come, and is coming… and I am longing for its blessings to flow far as the curse is found." Link here for his full post.
InSpero (spero=hope in Latin, inspired=God breathed) holds with both hands this "double hope" during the Advent Season.
He has come. He will come again.
As we wait, InSpero longs to make Birmingham look and feel more like Heaven, a little more like “Always Christmas.”
One of the ways we are doing that is through an intimate concert and conversation with singer/songwriter David Wilcox on Thursday, March 21, inside the beautiful new Leaf & Petal greenhouse in Cahaba Heights. They magically transform their space into a concert venue. Wine, beer and light appetizers will be available. "Golden tickets" available for those who would like to meet and greet David at a happy hour from 6-7 pm.
We can only fit a limited number of people and wanted our mailing list be able to link to tickets first! This will be followed by a full-day songwriting workshop led by David at a beautiful farm home on Friday, March 22. This has even more limited tickets available. If you're interested in helping to sponsor this concert and/or workshop, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tickets to the David Wilcox concert or to the songwriting workshop would make great Christmas gifts!
All proceeds will benefit the mission of InSpero to bring beauty and hope to our city and churches through creative community.
Another way we’re encouraging our artists is through intimate house shows. Recently, a musician was able to share his music and his struggles with faith in a setting where people could with compassion just live in the questions with him. No fixes. A community willing to come alongside.
Please consider InSpero in your Christmas and year-end giving. As a 501(c)(3), your donation is tax deductible. We are having more and more opportunities to cultivate Birmingham’s growing creative community to bring beauty and hope to our city and our churches. Your donations will help us continue to provide events such as Magic City Storytellers, pastor/artist dinners, intimate house shows where people can sit together in the questions of faith and life, Bridge Builders addressing the systemic wounds of our divided city, and retreats/soul care for artists and visionaries and “front liners” for our community. Just go to our website and hit the donate button or mail a check to InSpero, Inc. to 246 Marwood Drive, Birmingham, AL 35244.
We believe Aslan is on the move in Birmingham. And you are helping us to "thaw out" the always winter of this world as we wait for the "always Christmas."
It was at Rivendell the hobbits think through the vocation they have been given, carefully working out the who and what and where of the odyssey that will be theirs. But integral to all that they were, and to all that they would need to be, was the table at Rivendell, a place for the best conversations and the best food and the best drink — simply said, a wonder of wonders." Steve Garber
The never-ending hope of Easter, Writer Andrew Shaughnessy shares reflections on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and why hope and beauty matter. "We hope because we know a day is coming when, to paraphrase Sam in The Lord of the Rings, “everything sad will come untrue,” when our Creator King will dry every tear and bind up the broken hearts and restore the sundered cities and turn the world upside down."