I have an old book called, A Diary of Private Prayer, by a man called John Baillie. In the very first prayer, for First Day: Morning there is this line: “For the great and mysterious opportunity of my life… I praise and worship Thee, O Lord”.
The poetry of that line struck me, and has stayed with me for years. For the great and mysterious opportunity of my life… I praise and worship Thee, O Lord.
…the great and mysterious opportunity of my life…
In Genesis 12:1 Abram is given this instruction, “Leave your country, your people, and your father’s household and go to the land that I will show you.” That is all the information he had. And Abram did it – not knowing where God would take him.
My sister, Lori, shared the following with me several years ago. Because I have used it and shared it myself, I’m not sure how much of the writing of this is mine, and how much of these words are hers. Lori died in February 2019.
I think that the mixing up of our words pretty well describes our lives. I cannot extract her thoughts and her words, her presence from who I am. I miss her wisdom. And so I share this today from Lori (and me).
Our Grama Beulah graduated from college in the 1920s (the first time). She majored in “elocution” (that was a real thing). She performed recitations (much like you might see in “Anne of Green Gables”).
In the Godly Play Advent stories, when we come to week three we find that the candle lit for the shepherds is a different colour.
And we say this: Do you see that the candle is a different colour? It is the colour of roses. This reminds us that while this is a serious time, it is also a time of great joy and celebration.Read the rest of this entry →
I have always loved the day that “Christmas” comes out of the attic. I love the magic of lights and candles, colors and keepsakes.
My mom is a boss when it comes to Christmas decorations – she used to cover the mantelpiece with angel hair, lights, and figurines. I thought it was magical.
Mom would sit us down at the table (myself and my three sisters), and we would get to choose which Christmas cookies we would bake with her. These delicacies would then be plated up and given away as gifts.
Nat King Cole is the soundtrack in these memories.
The practice of placing a wreath of holly on the front door began in Ireland. Holly flourishes at Christmastime, and it gave poorer people the ability to generously decorate their homes.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.
Through him all things were made;
without him nothing was made that has been made.
In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
Advent is a time of preparation. It is a time when the world is waiting and longing for light in the darkness, for healing and hope.
Long ago, Irish farm families would clean and whitewash every building on the farm in December. The buildings were covered with white paint or lime wash to symbolically purify them for the coming of the Saviour.
Today and tomorrow (the 26th and the 27th) are both anniversaries for me. One is an anniversary of “leaving” and one is an anniversary of “arriving”.
Nineteen years ago I left California for Ireland. This time, it wasn’t a vision trip. I didn’t have a return ticket. I had given away, sold, thrown out, or packed up everything I owned. I met with friends and said good-bye. I made notebooks for my nieces and nephews, something I could add pages to as my life unfolded.
On Saturday I was trying to write out some thoughts and I used the words “liminal space”. I paused and decided to look that up. I wanted to be sure that it “means what I think it means” (thank you, Inigo Montoya).
I found this definition by way of “Google Dictionary”:
liminal: /ˈlɪmɪn(ə)l/: adjective
1. relating to a transitional or initial stage of a process.
2. occupying a position at, or on both sides of, a boundary or threshold.