Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Little baby events

Here's a link to the blog of a friend of mine, Colin: The Christ Heals. His entry today is about our own living of the Christmas story today, it made me think! He says, "The Christ comes as little baby events in our day." Lovely.

Last night was also filled with an Advent discussion. It was the second meeting I attended of that women's prayer group. This time, a bit more sparsely attended, but no less meaningful. And we were reminding each other to take time to enjoy the Advent season with expectation and joy.

So I thought I'd share what my Christmas season usually entails.

  • Holy music in the car. Generally the Messiah and some Christmas music from when I was a kid. My favorite: "And his name shall be called, Wonderful, Counselor, Almighty God, the ever-lasting Father, the Prince of Peace."
  • Gathering presents, mostly from Amazon online or from catalogs, for family. Wrapping said presents in paper, especially with that one paper that every year I still somehow manage to have scraps of. Using Christmas cards from prior years to decorate the packages, artfully arranging the images on the top and using them as gift tags.
  • Watching the familiar assortment of Christmas videos (and now DVDs): The Santa Clause, Home Alone, It's a Wonderful Life (not colorized), Miracle on 34th Street (with Natalie Wood, unfortunately our copy is colorized), The Little Drummer Boy, The Grinch, A Charlie Brown Christmas, While You Were Sleeping. "These potatoes are so creamy" (a family joke).
  • Taking every opportunity to sing Christmas carols, especially "O Holy Night," "Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming," and "What Child Is This." "The virgin sings her lullaby." Miraculous!
  • Setting up the tree, with the lights, well-loved decorations, tinsel, and the all-important Nativity scene at the foot of the tree and the glowing electric white orb for the top. Our orb is more astrologically accurate than most tree stars, just a big ball of light.
  • Exploring the Christmas story with somebody, either my own kids or my Sunday school kids. Attending Christmas performances that friends are appearing in.
  • And, on Christmas Eve, sending everyone else off to bed, and wrapping those few final gifts with the lighted tree and the Messiah playing softly in the background. Then I'll turn off all other lights, and sit, contemplating the tree with its radiant star on top, alone but watchful, waiting for the coming of the Christ.

And, the Christ always comes. In years past it's been a feeling of peace, a settled calm, a joyous expectancy, a feeling of service and grace. There have been years when I've been in anguish, years when I've been radically stressed, years when grief or fear were gripping me—yet the sitting and contemplating on this most holy of nights has brought some light to my darkness.

Then I learned I could experience this visitation throughout the year. I could turn to the star of light and wait for the presence of the Divine, and it would come. I've even looked for its coming while at a busy shopping mall, while in traffic, while paying bills. And lo, it's always there.

Little baby events that show He's always here.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 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.


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1 Comments:

At 12/06/2005 11:31:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Laura,

That was really beautiful! As soon as I finished reading I felt more at peace and less rushed. Thanks so much for your thoughtful writing - it realy makes a difference.

Ana - CSer in California

 

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