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.
There were no words. There was hardly even a tune. But it was, beyond
comparison, the most beautiful noise he had ever heard. It was so
beautiful hecould hardly bear it.”
from The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis
Two weeks ago I was asked to spend some time “reflecting on my life’s journey”. I was given some ideas of how to structure this, but the impression that I kept coming back to was the description of the creation of Narnia as told by Lewis in The Magician’s Nephew.
Aslan sings and calls the animals from the ground, and breathing on them, he gives them voices and intelligence of their own. His tune calls the flowers from the ground and the chorus of the stars joins in his song.
Psalm 42 and 43 were probably once all one psalm. They were written by a Levite, a “son of Korah”, one who led worship for the people of Israel.
The author finds himself in exile among the Gentiles (43:1). They oppress him, mock and taunt him for his faith (42:3, 10; 43:2). It seems like it will always be like this.Read the rest of this entry →