Day 24: Voyager’s Getaway

Day 24: Humble Forager Voyager’s Getaway – Imperial Pastry Porter 12% ABV

For our final night of Beer Advent we are set to enjoy another adventurous beverage from Humble Forager. Voyager’s Getaway is an Imperial Pastry Porter that is reminiscent of a vanilla cream filled chocolate cake. The pour is a deep, opaque blackish brown with a decent head of tan foam. Sweet, dessert-like aromas effervesce from this porter due to the marshmallow, cocoa nibs, vanilla, and coconut used to flavor it. The roasted malt flavors help balance the sweetness from the coconut, marshmallow, vanilla, and chocolate. This beer is rich in flavor and full of nuance. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a tad of oiliness. This beer will remind you of the beer that kicked off this adventure, Even More Jesus.

I love the name of this beer, Voyager’s Getaway. I think it is the perfect beer to end our reflective journey inward. During Jesus’ earthly ministry the disciples frequently recorded instances of Jesus isolating himself for prayer. I hope that you have been able to find some of that life giving time over these past twenty-four days. These moments of peace, jubilation, joy, & charity are echoes and glimpses of what we as Christians long for, especially during trying times. These tastes of God’s Kingdom help set our hearts heavenward, towards our true getaway. We are all voyager’s journeying through this world awaiting the return of our King who will set all things right. As you savor this decadent porter tonight, I pray you experience the tranquility of Heaven, and let your heart look forward to the perfection of the coming Kingdom. 

Cheers and Merry Christmas,

Chase

Advent Reflection

Scripture: Luke 2:13-14

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men

Hanna-Cheriyan Varghese (1938-2009)

The Christmas story that is recorded in Luke has become so familiar to many of us that it can often ‘just’ become part of the wonder and sentimentality of Christmas. This is again, one of the reasons why I enjoy Beer Advent so much, because the rhythm in which I write and/or read a reflection and sip slowly on a carefully crafted beer, forces me to slow down and dig deeper than the sentimentality. Chase’s reflection on the name of our beer tonight really hit home for me and spoke to my heart!

Tonight’s Scripture is in the context of an angel visiting shepherds out in the fields. Shepherds, the least among the ranks in society, receive the message that is described as, “Good news of great joy”. I am always astounded by this. When so much of our society tells us to rise up on the ladder of ranks and prestige so that we can be perceived as ‘special’ and be privy to important news, the story of Jesus and His kingdom flips that on its head. The angels, proclaiming the gloriously important message that a Savior was born, came to shepherds; the lowly, the meek, the dirty. What an amazing truth! This important message given to shepherds was one to go out to all people. ‘Peace on earth, and good will to men’.

This message reminds me of one of my favorite Christmas hymns, “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.” As with many songs that have deep and lasting impact, I love it because of its history.

 I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day, was written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in 1863 as a poem, and the lyrics beautifully intermingle sorrow with triumphant hope. A brief history of Longfellow’s poem is below, but if you want a good historical read on the origin of the hymn, go here:

“Before writing the words of the poem, Longfellow had received news that his oldest son had been critically injured while fighting for the Union Army. At the time, Longfellow was still grieving the loss of his wife who had died in a fire. He had been badly burned while trying to save her and fell into a deep depression after her death. The season of Christmas, Longfellow believed, could never again lighten his heart; nevertheless, on this Christmas Day in 1863, he picked up his pen to write a poem while a war between hope and despair raged within him. Incongruity between the refrain of “peace on earth, good-will to men” appeared not only in his personal circumstances, but also in the nation, afflicted by Civil War and the evils of slavery.” Read the lyrics below…

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
and wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along
The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;
“There is no peace on earth,” I said;
“For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The Wrong shall fail,The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men.”

After a year spent suffering a pandemic, racial unrest, political polarization, and personal pain and grief, many of us might share Longfellow’s feelings of the disharmony he describes in verse 3, “and in despair I bowed my head, there is no peace on earth I said”. This sentiment is exactly what we have been journeying with this Advent. Advent begins in the dark, and the sole purpose is to be reflective and to recognize our deep need for a Savior; for a light to break through the darkness. This is what I feel makes Longfellow’s final stanza so powerful and hopeful. Then pealed the bells more loud and deep: “God is not dead, nor doth He sleep; The Wrong shall fail, The Right prevail, With peace on earth, good-will to men.”

In the blessings that surround us, we often forget that dissonance is always present in this life. Our world has never been at peace. Wrong often appears to prevail over right. Yet Christians through the centuries have celebrated the birth of our Savior and the love that sent him to earth. Christmas reminds us that God is not dead nor does he sleep. Instead, he rules over all, omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent. (The Advent Project)

Grace and Peace and Merry Christmas!

robert

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