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Posts Tagged ‘celebration’

On this day of continued celebration, of thankfulness, of love (and, for some, loneliness) my only offerings are a video of a most beautiful Christmas Carol, sung by a woman with a beautiful voice.

I pray you have had a most merry of Christmas seasons!

Carole

According to Wikipedia, “The Wexford Carol” is one of the oldest extant Christmas carols in the European tradition,” possibly dating back to the 12th century!

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Some years it is easier to get in the mood for the Christmas season, and some years it is simply not something that comes easily. This year has been one that represents the later.

It is not that I do not like Christmas, or the extra trimmings that our society has added to it. It is not that I am sad or depressed. It is not even that I am abnormally busy (not being busy is the only abnormal that most people at my stage of life know).

This year just seems to be one of a lack of interest in lights, decorations, gifts and parties. This year I simply have one constant desire … just meditating on the birth of the Christ child.

I don’t want a modern single, teenage mom in stretchy jeans and braces … I want a young Jewish girl, betrothed to Joseph.

I don’t want to give and receive presents that are not needed (and possibly not even wanted) … I want wise men who came from the East.

I really don’t even want to go to parties, with food and drink piled high, I would rather stay home and research the original Christmas story, then write a post about what I have learned.

I just want a Silent Night, the First Noel and Away in a Manger … simple, special, sacred.

Yet, all around me is the noise of partying everywhere, complete with all the wrappings; excesses of food and drink, rooms full of people celebrating and no one aware that the celebration is about a baby. A baby born on a night when all around was noise, the noise of travelers traveling, complete with excesses of food and drink, and all the rooms were full. And no one was aware that way out in that stable cave in the rock, their Savior was being born, taking His first Earthly breath, drinking in His first drink, and his parents (on Earth and in heaven) celebrated.

Annunciation to the Herders, Govert Flinck 1639But not just His parents. Out in the fields, a way off from the town of Bethlehem, were shepherds living and caring for their sheep, and out of nowhere angels appeared to the shepherds, and they too were celebrating, and praising God, while saying,

“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” (Luke 2:13-14)

And the celebrations continue to this day.

So, as we go through the motions of the worldly celebrations around us, like a people gathering due to a census, complete with all the trimmings. It is good to not forget what the shepherds did once the celebration came to them, from heaven,

“When the angels had left them and gone into heaven,
the shepherds said to one another,
“Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened,
which the Lord has told us about.””
(Luke 2:13-15)

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As I arise on this final day of a two week long break, I open my eyes to all that has been accomplished, as well as all that has not been completed.images-1

Two weeks away from work, away from school, commitments, pressures and deadlines will end tomorrow (Monday) morning when the alarm rudely rings at 5:55am.

It has been a time of celebrating, both Christmas and New Years. It has been a time of cocooning within our own four walls, with times spent with friends, and times spent with only our Fab 5. It has been at time of intense cleaning, purging and sharing of our stuff with others. It has been a good time.

As the two weeks of celebration and relaxation come to a close, as the New Year is barely underway, thankfulness fills every part of my being. It has truly been a blessed break.

Time is a gift that is so sweet, so very, very sweet. It is something we all have, although often is short supply. It is something that we love to give, something that we give grudgingly. It is something we either have too much of, or not enough, and never the right amount at the exact time we need or want it most.

When our children are young and demanding we desire more time for ourselves, more time away from our children. When we grow old we desire most to spend our time with our children, we dream of the days when the demands tired us, we regret that the busy years are gone.

When we are young we count sleeps (okay, some of us do not outgrow this stage … but, I digress) to the times and events that we look so forward to, when we are elderly we awaken and count the blessing of awakening for “one more day.”

I regret the end of this time of break, yet I have lived long enough to know that I am blessed to have been given the gift of this time. I was also blessed to have been away of the gift that is was before the break began, resulting in a return to work with less regrets and more sweet memories to take into this work week, and new year.

Christmas break 2012, and Christmas itself, has been the sweetest Christmas in my memory. I will leave this house, and separate from hubby and the kids with delightful memories to sit back and ponder with great thanksgiving.

It has been …

… yet there is so much to be, if I can appreciate every day in this intentional, thankful heart of blessing of the gift that this time is for me, for we.

Your life
is like the morning fog–
it’s here a little while, int
then it’s gone.”
John 4:14

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I am not an expert in grammar, and that is no surprise to anyone who has ever read even one of my posts!

One thing I do know (not as a grammar expert, but as a Christian) is that worship is a verb, it is a ‘doing’ word. I’m not just making reference to my head knowledge of the word worship, but the knowledge that comes from living with a mind and body and heart and emotions that ‘do’, without conscious thought, when worshiping.

I love to go to concerts of Christian worship musicians, because they provide hours of opportunity to not just entertain the concert goers but also to participate in the worship they are leading. There is nothing that drives my inner worshipper more crazy than when church worship becomes entertainment, and I have to sit still while someone else is worshipping solo …

When I enter into a place of worship (my back garden, my kitchen, the beach, my bedroom, on my favorite trail, and even in a church sanctuary) I am often unnerved by how my inner self responds to what is around me. My senses drink in what I see, what I smell, what I taste, what I feel, and I am led into a spontaneous act of worship. I have no control on this happening, it is my insides wanting to burst out.

I feel a little about worship, like Olympic runner Eric Liddell said of running “when I worship (run) I feel His pleasure.” There is a connection to my Creator that is so deep, so innate in a way, that I have little to do with how I respond to the opportunity to worship.

And that opportunity is constant, and often surfaces without warning. As I have grown I have heard of people talking about preparing for worship, which is a good idea. It is not always easy to settle into worship when you’ve just arrived at church having had the equivalent of battle royale with your toddler to get their shoes on, or had a disagreement with your spouse (which of course NEVER happens in our house ;). But I find that most times when worship begins, the magnetic-like force within me pulls me into God’s presence, whether I am prepared or not. This happens not just in a church sanctuary, but some times when I am weeding, or taking a walk, or standing on a beach, or holding one of my loved ones.

J.I. Packer said, “we need to discover all over again that worship is natural to the Christian, as it was to the godly Israelites who wrote the psalms, and that the habit of celebrating the greatness and graciousness of God yields an endless flow of thankfulness, joy, and zeal.”One cannot read the Psalms and not see and feel the joy that is being expressed.

Worship is an act of celebration, and whether we are participating in a room with hundreds of other worshippers or laying in our bed when we awaken and take a deep breath, it is a party worth celebrating!

“Worship leader George Beverly Shea kidded Billy Graham that the latter would be unemployed in Heaven — while Shea would still have a job leading worship.”

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