Tuesday, December 25, 2007
" Don't try to explain the Incarnation to me. It is further from being explainable than the furthest galaxy. It is love, God's limitless love enfleshing that love into the form of a human being, Jesus, the Christ, fully human and fully divine.
Was there a moment, known only to God, when the galaxies paused in their dance for a fraction of a second, and the Word, who had called it all into being, went with all his love into the womb of a young girl, and the universe started to breathe again, and the ancient harmonies resumed their song, and the angels clapped their hands for joy?
Power. Greater power than we can imagine, abandoned, as the Word knew the powerlessness of the unborn child, still unformed, taking up almost no space in the great ocean of amniotic fluid, unseeing,unhearing, unknowing. Slowly growing, as any human embryo grows, arms and legs and a head, eyes, mouth, nose, slowly swimming into life until the ocean in the womb is no longer large enough, and it is time for birth.
Christ, the Second Person of the Trinity, Christ, the Maker of the universe or perhaps many universes, willingly and lovingly leaving all that power and coming to this poor, sin-filled planet to live with us for a few years to show us what we ought to be and could be. Christ came to us as Jesus of Nazareth, wholly human and wholly divine, to show us what it means to be made in God's image."
~ Madeliene L'Engle~
Monday, December 17, 2007
The other night we wandered around down-town to show the kids the window displays and then stopped for cocoa. The kids enjoyed the sparkly fake snow and moving reindeer and it was free. These weeks have been flying by with Christmas parades and parties, crafts and baking and the kids have been in heaven. Sometimes I wish I could bottle their excitement. Last night was the New City Christmas concert which was amazing. James Ward rocked of course, and it was a beautiful time of worship. I am also breathing a little sigh of relief that my solo performance is behind me. The countdown is getting closer. I'm avoiding the commercialism and the mall like the plague and enjoying the magic with my wee ones.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Autumn is breathing her last; Thanksgiving is long gone and I've gone and let it slip by without voicing my thanks. It hardly seems fitting since most days I sense daily how incredibly much I have to be thankful for. My list really could be endless. Sometimes I have this strange sense that it will all come crashing down. I don't know why but I have always had this keen awareness of the chasm between what I deserve and the life I've been given.
Life is so very rich. Some things that I love are the sky after rain, the smell of wet paint, seeing old people that still hold hands,sipping warm chai, graveyards, road trips, sunflowers, dreams that are so good you try not to wake up so you can know how it ends, discovering beautiful new songs
nightswimming,Wysteria and little hands that bear wilting wildflowers.. I think I'll stop, lest I start sounding like a hallmark card. Those are just a few things that bring a smile. These are my biggest sources of joy on a regular basis...
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
"Though Advent (literally 'arrival') has been observed for centuries as a time to contemplate Christ's birth, most people today acknowledge it only with a blank look. For the vast majority of us December flies by in a flurry of activities, and what is called 'the holiday season' turns out to be the most stressful time of the year.
It is also a time of contrasting emotions. We are eager,yet frazzled; sentimental, yet indifferent. One minute we glow with the thought of getting together with family and friends;the next we feel utterly lonely... Content with candles and carols and good food, we bask in the warmth of familiar traditions, in reciprocated acts of kindness, and in feelings of general goodwill... How many of us share the longings of the ancient prophets, who awaited the Messiah with such intensity that they foresaw his arrival thousands of years before he was born?
Mother Teresa once noted that the first person to welcome Christ was John the Baptist, who leaped for joy on recognizing him, though both were still in their mothers' wombs. We, in stark contrast, are often so dulled by superficial distractions that we are incapable of hearing any voice within, let alone listening to it. Consequently, the feeling we know as Christmas cheer lacks any real connection to the vital spirit that radiated from the manger. That is the main purpose of this collection: to reforge that link, and to encourage the rediscovery of Advent as a season of inward preparation....Advent marks something momentous: God's coming into our midst."
This is an excerpt from the introduction of a book called "Watch for the Light".
Its daily readings are by various authors, some of which include C.S.Lewis, Thomas Merton, Philip Yancey, Madeleine L'Engle, Henri Nouwen, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Annie Dillard, St. Thomas Aquinas, and Brennan Manning.
Now that December is here, I've been thinking a lot about how easy it is to lose sight of what all the celebration is about. There really is so much that can distract. Obviously, to some it is all about the stuff, the presents, the lights, the parties and the fuzzy feelings that surround the season. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love everything about Christmas. At our house the music starts in November and without fail, every year I feel a surge of child-like delight when the lights come out and the tree goes up. Bring on the mistletoe, pretty paper, and gift-giving, the parties and the carols. I revel in all of it, I can't get enough of the charm of this season. But all of that is just a way to celebrate and enjoy the good gifts our Father has lavished on us. I adore watching how magical these first Christmas' are to my children but have also gotten a taste of the difficulty of the season in missing loved ones lost. During this time of year my heart is just so full.
With each year that passes I have an increasing sense of the absolute holiness of this season of Advent. It is a time to fast, to reflect, to examine and purge from our hearts the darkness that is there. It is a time to triumph in the babe in the manger, our God who put on flesh and became like us so that he could dwell among us and obliterate the void that lay between us. It is a time to be mindful that our Messiah will come again.
I wanted to share this book because it has been a blessing to me, water to a thirsty soul. Last year I read it by myself
but this year I'm reading it with Josh. In the dark we sit, all distractions aside, with only a candle to light the page. It is becoming my favorite time of the day.