Category Archives: Christmas

May the Advent-ure Continue!

five Advent candlesThe Advent season has come and gone…we waited for the arrival, it came and went. Odd, isn’t it? A season which is named for a Coming is about waiting…and by the time we actually celebrate the arrival, the season of Advent is official over.

That’s probably why for years I assumed–unthinkingly–that Advent must mean waiting. Because that’s what Advent has meant to me, a time of great anticipation for a momentous occasion. Continue reading

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Holidays, …or “Hollow-Days”?

Robert - DejaReviewerWhat is the point of a holiday? Is it just to have a day (or a week) off from work or school? Is it just to spend time with distant relatives you never spend time with otherwise? Is it just to kick back, have fun, and watch the big game?

Or is it something more?

There’s a line in Rockythat illustrates this point perfectly. Rocky Balboa goes on a date with a girl he likes (Adrian), on Thanksgiving. He’s completely oblivious to that fact, though. Adrian even explicitly points out that it’s a special day, but Rocky responds, “To you, it’s Thanksgiving. To me, it’s Thursday.”

Think about that…

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The REAL Gift of Love at Christmas, …and all year ’round

PghEven though Christmas DAY has passed, we are still celebrating the Christmas SEASON. 

But if you were to ask a random group of people what they “love” about Christmas (the day AND the season), you’d probably get answers ranging from giving/receiving gifts, to time off from work, to spending time with family.

And while those things can certainly be gratifying, there’s no question that they are also ephemeral by their very nature:
  • Your ‘shake weight‘ now resides in the back of a closet somewhere, waiting for the day when you “get around to using it…”,
  • You DID go back to work, …or you will soon,
  • And the family, eventually, puts away the Christmas decorations, and goes back to the daily and weekly routines.

Yet there IS one Christmas gift which never loses its beauty, and is the greatest “gift” of all time:

God’s gift of His Son.

jesu

A Christmas Poem…

snow“PURE WHITE”

It doesn’t matter
if the snow was falling
fierce or lazily or not at all.

The sinless Son of God
was bright enough without that pall.

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Some #Christmas Funnies….

Thought we’d share some holiday-ish humor for everyone today… Hope you enjoy the following cartoons.

Merry Christmas, gang!!!
JTR and GBL 

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Christmas - 1

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“A #Christmas Hymn” for the Fourth Sunday in Advent

On this fourth Sunday of Advent, I could write something original, something of all I’ve been reading and pondering lately.

But I suspect that, three days before Christmas, you are either (A) still frantically trying to get things done, or (B) just beginning, like me, to really enjoy the season. After a week rich in blog content and variety, thanks to my brother, JTR, you don’t need anything long or weighty today.

So here, instead, is my very favorite Christmas poem of all time. (Not that it’s fluff! Far from it. But good poetry has a simple sense of inevitability which gets inside without fanfare.)  One year our family (myself, husband and both sons) memorized it to recite for gathered family on Christmas Day. I wish we’d done more things like that during Advent.

This poem has stuck with me. Although I hadn’t recited it in years, it came back to me easily when I spoke it for a friend’s grandfather at an informal Christmas concert. I invite you to take your time and read it aloud…or perhaps come back and read it on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.

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Advent Voices: The Shepherds

advent wreath with three lit candlesAt the end of another hectic week (and I still haven’t started my Christmas cards), here’s another one of my Advent readings. I find the shepherds to be especially poignant. I imagine them wistful, wondering what it would be like to be part of a larger community, to be “in the know”. They’re always out-of-town, out of touch, out of the loop. No one tells them anything.

Which makes it so delightfully kind of the Lord to tell them the Good News first–and let them tell everyone else.  (***If you’d like to read more about the historic shepherds and why they were such unlikely recipients of the greatest newsflash ever, check out this article at Livebold.com.)

I wrote Advent Longings because I wanted to hear the Biblical voices still waiting, those patient faithful souls waiting without any clear idea of hope being fulfilled. As we wait here in the between-time, looking for our Lord’s second coming, may their voices fill us with new hope.

Happy third Sunday of Advent!

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An Advent Voice: Simeon

CCF1By the end of the day today (Sunday) I will have supervised eleven hours of Living Nativity drama, performed by over 50 different actors (not all at once!) over a space of two and a half days. The four scenes took audiences of 50 people  (maximum) at a time on a 20-minute journey through Bethlehem. If all goes well, a couple of thousand people will get to see one of the 60 performances.

But of course it’s not all about the numbers, even if as writer/director/producer I’ve been fixated on that–and on the logistics of making it work and keeping it on schedule.

Nativity-SceneIt’s really about getting inside the experiences of 2,000 years ago and recapturing the wonder and significance of the Christmas story. And that’s really what we should be doing during the Advent season every year. Fortunately, we don’t need to do anything as ambitious as mounting a Living Nativity to accomplish that.

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