Archives for posts with tag: Advent

This year during Advent in my morning gatherings we are considering the texts of Advent/Christmas where God speaks…. through the extraordinary, through human relationships and how we can continue to listen to the voice of God in the mania we find ourselves in at the close of 2016. As I have begun to consider the texts from the Psalms and the Gospels that I have chosen for worship, I have collected thoughts, stories and commentaries so that their assumptions about the scriptures could sit and stir in my soul.

This morning, I opened up my the Christian Century magazine, the November 23rd issue… and read the article from the Publisher this morning before I delved into Advent 1 sermon crafting. It blew me away.

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This is for all of you who cannot seem to stop posting about the news. Who have nothing else to note in a world that is wrought with amazing things and awful things. Take note:
 
“Alain de Botton… (author of THE NEWS: A USER’S MANUAL) believes that in contemporary culture news has largely replaced religion as ‘our central source of guidance and our touchstone of authority.’ The news–not scripture, tradition, or inspired ritual–informs how we handle suffering and make moral choices. A desire to know what’s going on all hours of the day and night actually makes us more shallow than we may want to admit.”
 
I love these words. I hate our obsession. And I abhor my timeline right now, riddled with hate speech (all sides), negative views (all sides), and general malaise. I say: TURN IT OFF and start exercising! Make an ornament or two for someone. Go volunteer at an animal shelter. Go play bingo with some elders. Reconnect with the Divine in all things… and I believe joy will find you. I truly believe that nothing is impossible is God.

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“…and so this is Christmas.”

I unpacked my Shiny Brite vintage ornaments and their boxes and lovingly placed them on my table. And then had to explain to my 9 year old why the battered boxes meant so much to me. Why I didn’t really care for the plastic looking knockoffs that were sold everywhere that wouldn’t shatter and break. Why these boxes bring tears to my eyes. Why it is so important to have the colored glass and the sprayed on felt with the glitter shimmer just so on the tree.

And yeah, they are just boxes and glass. Did you know that this company Shiny Brite had some of the most popular ornaments during the 40’s and 50’s? And the idea came from one Max Eckardt who was working with the Corning Glass Company. With war seeming imminent, he adapted their production line and supplies from Germany that were the clear glass ornaments, and made the colored glass, which was finished in America, by hand. 

There is something about those cracked ornaments– the wear and tear, the fissures, the shine kind of tarnished that makes me pause during Christmas. It’s why it is my table centerpiece and an important part of my Christmas decor. That Christmas…, you know, the BIRTH one? It wasn’t so perfect, either. It wasn’t just so. It was a forgotten, slightly battered couple just making do. And yet the magic shone.

I am torn. I have wear and tear. And yet Advent is here with its unfailing hope, its glittery beckoning. Yep… so this is my Christmas.