Showing posts with label Pause in Advent. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pause in Advent. Show all posts

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Now is the Third Sunday in Advent

One of my favorite Christian authors, Fredrick Buechner, writes of the advent season in a personal manner that sets me pondering on thoughts sometimes outside the usual realm of a spiritual Christmas.  He writes about the ugliness in me (yes, I personalize that ugliness for it is in me, not necessarily in you).

Buechner talks about our faults, our sinful ways, our selfishness, our arrogance.  He has a way of revealing all our human flaws, yet reminding us that God actually loves us.  And that every fault in our beings that is wrong, just wrong, is most certainly known by God.  But He keeps on loving us because grace is there, a present, a real Christmas present, that He gives us just for the asking.

With over thirty books written by Buechner (link here to his website), he has a way of unveiling grace to us, making it alive even in our somewhat sin-disguised and tawdry lives.

Episcopalian Rev. Barbara Taylor Brown said in a speech what fans of Buechner have always believed about his writings:
From you, I have learned that language itself is revelatory, with power to ignite hearts, move mountains, and save lives. 
From you, I have learned that the good news is not the cheerful news but the dismantling news of what it is like both to love and to betray the Holy One who has given me life, only to hear the saving question asked anew, for the umpteenth time, “You, you child of mine, Do you love me?”
This is what Christmas is about: the opening up of God's love to me, even me.  Such a powerful present, and it is there just for the asking.  Imagine.

From Whistling in the Dark:
The house lights go off and the footlights come on. Even the chattiest stop chattering as they wait in darkness for the curtain to rise. In the orchestra pit, the violin bows are poised. The conductor has raised his baton.
In the silence of a midwinter dusk there is far off in the deeps of it somewhere a sound so faint that for all you can tell it may be only the sound of the silence itself. You hold your breath to listen.
You walk up the steps to the front door. The empty windows at either side of it tell you nothing, or almost nothing. For a second you catch a whiff in the air of some fragrance that reminds you of a place you've never been and a time you have no words for. You are aware of the beating of your heart.
The extraordinary thing that is about to happen is matched only by the extraordinary moment just before it happens. Advent is the name of that moment.
The Salvation Army Santa Claus clangs his bell. The sidewalks are so crowded you can hardly move. Exhaust fumes are the chief fragrance in the air, and everybody is as bundled up against any sense of what all the fuss is really about as they are bundled up against the windchill factor.
But if you concentrate just for an instant, far off in the deeps of you somewhere you can feel the beating of your heart. For all its madness and lostness, not to mention your own, you can hear the world itself holding its breath.
It is Advent.  I am enjoying my candles, my Mother and Child icons, and perhaps holding my breath, just a little. And opening up that present called "grace".

Join with Angela and others in blogging about Advent.  Here is the link.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Pausing in Advent for Madonna and Child

Never having been much of a collector over the years, and with that being said, I do admit to having a few Christmas collections;  most years I search out at least one box of assemblages for seasonal display.  One collections is of angels, another is of Christmas ornaments, and the third is pictures and icons of the Madonna and Child.

At last count, I had 24 religious icons. Some are Romantic era pictures, and some are replicas from the Byzantine period.  Most have come from different countries, where I searched them out among coffee bars and trinket shops. It gives my heart a thrill to find one, purchase it, and carefully pack it up to carry home where it is then carefully nestled along with the other icons, awaiting their retrieval for living room display (in lieu of a tree) in the Advent Season.

Here are a few Madonna and Child icons/pictures in our cadre:

Do you have a collection of objects that you enjoy viewing and displaying?  If so, I would really like for you to comment.  And show me what you collect.

linked here:
The Madonna and Child has been a common topic of art throughout the centuries but they were most influential in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance time periods. Paintings of the Madonna and Child have been dated back to before the sixth century and have continued to appear throughout the ages even to the present day. Despite how old and how popular of a subject the Madonna and Child is, artists manage to show a great deal of variety and originality over the years.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Patience in Advent

Today is the third Sunday in Advent.  I am inpatient in wanting to write of something else, something other than "patience".  The liturgical reading today, however, in part is about patience and says
James 5: 7 - 10

7 Be patient, therefore, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. Behold, the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient over it until it receives the early and the late rain.
8 You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.
9 Do not grumble, brethren, against one another, that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the doors.
10 As an example of suffering and patience, brethren, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.
So patience is the lesson, one story or lesson that we need, especially in this season.  Not to hurry in our cookie preparation just to get it over and done with.  Not to hurry in slapping on the icing and not to rush in getting those confections off to the post office.  Instead, we are to be intentional in our purpose.

I am trying to slow the busy-ness process and make each step of completing a task a thoughtful one. Yes, it is hard, especially when one has always hurried to just "get 'er done".  (My mother once said as I was driving with her in the car that I would be making a cake at the same time if it were only possible.  I think of  her comment often when I am multi tasking, and smile.  And sometimes I slow down.)

  8 You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.
You may also enjoy reading these Advent posts, and others found a Pause in Advent:

Light (Kathy)

The third Advent candle is lit today.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

A Pause in Advent

Please click on The Mennonite Girls to read a message that will warm your heart and amaze your soul.

And visit "A Pause in Advent" here and read more stories about the Christmas journey from the 2012 bloggers taking part.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

A Pause In Advent

Joining in with Floss in France who has offered to sponsor a Christmas Blogger Event Termed "A Pause in Advent," where we stop a moment and reflect on the spiritual season, this article from the late 1980's gave me pause to think about a different turn on Christmas. Perhaps you will like it too.  An excerpt...
I direct a Christian theater company and this Christmas season we have a play running called "0, Little Town of Bagels, Tea Cakes and Hamburger Buns." The play is about the contemporary experience of Christmas based on the fact that the people to whom Christ came that first Christmas are the same kinds of people that we are today. Bethlehem means "house of bread." Bread means bagels, tea cakes and hamburger buns. Christmas is not a remote event. It is not a memo tucked away in a history book and forgotten. It is a celebration for right now — for the people who are now, as were the people who were then — some of them hurting, some of them alone, some of them angry, some of them tired, some of them separated from their family, some of them ill. Unto those people, God sent his Christmas card.
Click on the highlighted title to read the entire essay O Little Town of Bagels, Tea Cakes and Hamburger Buns by Jeanette Clift George.  It is a thoughtful writing.

You can read others' Pauses in Advent here.

click here to join in the pause