Hi all. I’ve missed you! We have just completed another wonderful Living Nativity at our church. When thousands enter into what is the ‘Kelowna tradition’ and experience the nativity, Bethlehem village, live mannequins and yumlish treats.
Angelic Beauty – ChadPerryPhotography
My Bella the mannequin – ChadPerryPhotography
Wise Guys – ChadPerryPhotography
This year we introduced a prayer tree… to witness our local community lining up to pin their prayers on the tree was beautiful. We pray life and hope and a resounding Amen over those prayers and the courage it took to write them.
‘The thrill of hope.’
I’m trying to be clever and think of something different to write about, a different advent angle.
Because everything I read says the same thing.
Over and over.
The same message.
It tells me to stop, to breathe, to wait to wonder, to look, to yearn, to anticipate.
That there is hope, there is light.
And the more I read the more I realize of course the message is loud.
It’s the clearest it has ever been.
It is the most wonderful time of the year!
So I will join the advent people because there is no place I’d rather be.
The candle lighters, the life declarers, the hope bringers.
Because I believe that God sent his only son as a babe and He made his home on earth and it all fell into place.
All of this – advent – is about a bigger picture. This time. This waiting.
It’s about our eyes being opened spiritually, our ears hearing a new sound. To Emmanuel – God with us.
‘O come, O come Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel.’
How many of us are weary in the waiting, the wondering and worrying?
Let us use this time of advent to focus on our messes and say Emmanuel – I cannot do this, inviting Him into the places where decay has spread beyond the box in our hearts where we have hidden the mess.
Advent is not the ‘same old same old’. Advent is a time of change.
Let us spend advent looking at the areas in our lives to be redeemed, recognizing what is holding us in its power.
Take a moment to pray…
‘Emmanuel. God with us. With me. What do you want to say to me?’
It could be tiny spark of wonder, the newest of realizations, or the wonder of transformation. He wants to answer you.
So that when Dec 25th arrives – you can say ‘I am changed.’
‘The weary world rejoices.’
This weekend I experienced my boy disappearing in Walmart for the longest 15 minutes OF.MY.LIFE. I have never seen so many potential kidnappers during that time. ‘Code Adam’ bought Josiah back holding a couple of DVDs which he’d like to add to his list. With a familiar hand waving gesture of my father, Josiah decided he’d looked long and hard for me, and that it was me who was lost. He wants Smurfs 2 don’t cha know?
Also, I saw: more sickness, my poetry module arrive, cabin fever, the making of lip scrub, living nativity mannequin prep, the booking of flights, the not wrapping up warm enough. Homesickness. The traffic, the busy, the lost teenager arriving because she had nowhere to go, the homeless saying thank you, Josiah asking why, the presents list added to (again). The ski hill experienced, overdue homework complete, another dinner prepared. The smoothing of my edgy soul as I chatted to a faraway friend.
I saw…and felt -20 therefore I saw a fire roaring, and, and, and….
We all have similar stories of busy, and I know for some it’s more than busy – it’s dark, it’s painful, it’s a desert, and you feel trapped, defeated.
But let us try and find our moment to breathe the words.
‘O come, O come Emmanuel.’
‘But if you concentrate just for an instant, far off in the deeps of yourself 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.’ Frederick Buechner.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son. Whoever puts his trust in God’s Son will not be lost but will have life that lasts forever. John 3:16
Are you ready for your redemptive advent*ure?
Love, Michelle xo