Saturday, December 19, 2009

Advent* to come to*

"Advent literally means "to come to" which is exactly what we believe Jesus Christ has done-he has "come to" his people to save us from our sins."

Every night we gather by the fire and candle light, we become hushed and we wait, listen,worship and seek Him, expectant. All of our special advent Christmas and Advent books are out. The kids have loved our evening ritual and eagerly wait for the candles to be lit and the new door on the advent calender to be opened. In addition we are joining our church family through Advent passages that you can find here. Words are read while little fingers arrange and re-arrange Mary, Joseph, wise men, shepherds and baby Jesus. We ponder how our God loved us enough to become one of us, to bring us back to Him. On bended knee we wait, and quiet our hearts to take in this miracle. I can not express how very precious and holy these evenings have been, what a reminder to be in love with His word and the things that begin to stem from that. It has again reminded me that it is all that we need. Though we enjoy lots of the festivities that surround Christmas it all becomes dim in comparison to the one Creator King who was born of a virgin one night in Bethlehem. I'm feeling a lot like this again this year, always that bittersweet knowledge of our utter brokenness and His perfect promise to heal and restore us with His love. I am reminded that each of us has had our own story for the past year. Some one fell in love while someone else still feels lonely. Someone had a brand new baby, while someone else's mother died of Cancer. Someone felt blessed while another felt abandoned. Someone felt quite smug at all they'd accomplished while someone else found themselves homeless. Our stories so different, all in need of this one truth and hope, a manger born King. What would happen if we turned down and unplugged from some of the noise and distraction and made room for space and stillness, if we became a sanctuary for His Spirit?
Watch for the Light is my favorite Advent book and so I'll end with a quote from it and a Juden prayer(one of my best gifts this year).

"The gift of the greatest efficacy and power that we can offer God and creation is not our skills, gifts,abilities, and possessions.
Mary offered only space, love, belief. What is it that delivers Christ into the world-preaching,art,writing,scholarship,social justice? Those are all gifts well worth sharing.
In the end, when all other human gifts have met their inevitable limitation, it is the recollected one,the bold virgin with a heart in love with God who makes a sanctuary of her life, who delivers Christ who then delivers us...
What if instead of doing something, we were to be something special? Be a womb. Be a dwelling for God."
~Loretta Ross-Gotta

"Dear Jesus,
I can't wait for your birthday and for your birthday I want to give the little kids who don't have enough food, something to eat and I'm saving up money to give them Bibles too, so they can know about you. Thank for what you give me and you're the Prince of Peace and I love you to pieces and pieces and pieces and pieces.