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Archive for December, 2008

Snow Day

We’re having a great big exciting snowstorm today.  It would be more fun it I hadn’t been scheduled to fly out to Shannon’s house tonight, but it’s still beautiful.  Better luck with the flights tomorrow…

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The Light of the World

It’s Advent season!  Yes, and we only have one more candle to light before Christmas arrives.  Unlike the other eleven months of the year (*note sarcasm), December has/is finding me jogging all over what I will affectionately call “my backyard,” also known as the entire United States.  I saw the first candle lit in my own home church in New York, the second Sunday I was at Martha and Joel’s wonderful church in LA, the third I was still there (hooray!  I love their church!), and the fourth will find me en route to Illinois to spend Christmas with Shannon and his family (I would carry the fourth candle with me through the airport, but I think TSA would have something to say about that…).

Despite all of this running around (or perhaps because of it), I feel more anticipation than ever for the coming of the Christ.  God has given me a theme, or shall I say, a word that is following me around, no matter what state I am in.

Light.

Compared to other people’s lives, I will admit that my life doesn’t have a whole lot of darkness.  However, being a “daughter of Eve” brings me my fair share.  Sure – a little uncertainty about the future, a little pain and hurt – but more than that, the last few months have been sanctifying to me.  I will be honest; being “in a relationship,” though wonderful and beautiful, is sanctifying.  I’ve had thoughts like “Wow, I’m prideful!” or “Wow, I need to be more considerate!” go through my head many times, and that’s…yeah…sanctifying.

But Christ has come!  And He is light!

“Arise, shine;

For your light has come!

And the glory of the LORD is risen upon

you.

For behold, the darkness shall cover the

earth,

And deep darkness the people;

But the LORD will arise over you,

And His glory will be seen upon you.

The Gentiles shall come to your light,

And kings to the brightness of your rising.”

-Isaiah 60:1-3

Into the darkness of my uncertainty, into the darkness of my confusion (which sometimes always is very frustrating), into the darkness of my pain, into the darkness of the fact that I can’t fix other people’s pain, and into the darkness that is my own sin and wretchedness, comes the Christ child, the Light of the world, in whom is no darkness at all.

Mom and I attended our church school’s Christmas program tonight.  While we were waiting for it to begin, I was reading the service of evening prayer, part of which is also known as the Service of Light.  I wanted to share part of it here; it was yet another way that God reminded me of the Light He brings into my darkness.

“Jesus Christ is the Light of the world,

the light no darkness can overcome.

Stay with us, Lord, for it is evening,

and the day is almost over.

Let your light scatter the darkness

and illumine your Church.

“Blessed are you, O Lord our God, king of the universe, who led your people Israel by a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.  Enlighten our darkness by the light of your Christ; may his Word be a lamp to our feet and a light to our path; for you are merciful, and you love your whole creation and we, your creatures, glorify you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Amen.”

“Let my prayer rise before you as incense; the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.  O Lord, I call to you; come to me quickly; hear my voice when I cry to you.  Let me prayer rise before you as incense; the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.  Set a watch before my mouth, O Lord, and guard the door of my lips.  Let not my heart incline to any evil thing; let me not be occupied in wickedness with evildoers.  but my eyes are turned to you, O God; in you I take refuge.  Strip me not of my life.  Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit; as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever.  Amen.  Let my prayer rise before you as incense; the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.”

“O God, from whom come all holy desires, all good counsels, and all just works, give to us, your servants, that peace which the world cannot give, that our hearts may be set to obey your commandments; and also that we, being defended from the fear of our enemies, may live in peace and quietness; through the merits of Jesus Christ, our Savior, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, God forever.”

“Lord God, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet undrodden, through perils unknown.  Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.”

“Amen.”

So, this Advent season, as I hop about the country, I look with expectancy to the coming of the Christ child, the Light in my darkness.  I praise Him for His presence with me this season, and echo the words in the Advent hymns I read.

“O Lord of light, who made the stars,

O Dawn, by whom we see the say,

O Christ, redeemer of the world:

Come now and listen as we pray!”

(O Lord of Light, Who Made the Stars, by Melvin Farrell)

“Hark!  A thrilling voice is sounding!

‘Christ is near,’ we hear it say.

‘Cast away the works of darkness,

All you children of the day!'”

(“Hark!  A Thrilling Voice Is Sounding,” by Edward Caswall)

“The King shall come when morning dawns

And light and beauty brings.

Hail, Christ the Lord!  Your people pray:

Come quickly King of kings.”

(“The King Shall Come,” by John Brownlie)

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Hello world!

Welcome to my brand new blog.

*bows dramatically*

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