“Through the heartfelt mercies of our God,
God’s Sunrise will break in upon us,
Shining on those in the darkness,
Those sitting in the shadow of death,
Then showing us the way, one foot at a time,
Down the path of peace.”
Luke 1:78-79 (The Message by Eugene Peterson)
Peace to all this Christmas…
December isn’t usually a quiet month.
But for some reason, (God-appointed perhaps?) quiet is my focus-word for December. It wasn’t supposed to be — December was to be Joy or Giving…
Yet here it is: one month left in 2014 and one word left for the monthly focus. Quiet.
I’ve been wondering what to do about it. In a way it is appropriate for me because for the last several years — actually the last
two three decades — I’ve moaned and groaned about the commercialization of Christmas. And quietly, I’ve tried to eliminate much of the hoopla, created by modern culture. I don’t go into stores unless I have to — but even I noticed that commercial Christmas was there on the shelves right alongside the Halloween masks.
If honesty were to prevail, I have to admit that I like bringing Christmas into my house. Those little white lights made in China? I like them. Big red bows? Yes. Two on the mantle please. And a garland or two or as well. Make my own Christmas cards? Check. Make lots of cookies? Check. Can you hear the Jewish man Tevye singing in the background? Tra-di-tion!
I just finished photo101 in which I published a photo and poem each week day for a month. And I enjoyed it. It was different; I felt like I had assignments, and I mostly got them finished with a decent grade, as well as making new friends in blogland.
But, if honesty were to prevail, I have to admit that this is mostly what my morning devotions looked like:
And so for Advent, my blog is going quiet. So that I will be distraction-free for quiet contemplation on the coming of Jesus. To the world. To the Church. And to me.
So for your Advent and Christmas season, I urge you to try on some Quiet. Breathe. And make room for the quiet whisper of the Savior.
For the rest of Advent and Christmas I will be finishing up my gratitude project for the past year. It was never intended to be anything but for me to document my gratitude and blessings, and help me be intentional about living a joy-filled life for the year. It worked! And if I can encourage anyone else to do something like this, with my December “gratitudes”, then Amen!
What follows are photos from the year with Advent scriptures for reading, studying, or just enjoying. Each photo is captioned with the full scripture — the Advent scriptures from the website handmaden. (Thanks Lauren!) I’m not a photographer, but my IPhone camera has given me much joy this year as well…
I will be updating every day through December instead of writing regular blogposts. Merry Christmas everyone. Peace and blessings to you all.
Plain, Mundane, and Common
Matthew 1:18-25, Luke 2:1-20
Blessings on your House