Advent 4, Christmas Eve, Christmas, and a New Year!
December 31, 2012 § Leave a comment
Oh my goodness, is anyone else in a holiday daze? (But it is good, isn’t it? Family and candy canes and sparkling snow and games and caramel corn and truffles and favorite old movies and the re-telling of stories.)
I’m sorry that Christmas came up without me appropriately finishing my little spiritual reveries, but here’s a quick catch-up for those of you who care:
The fourth candle of advent is the candle of peace. The Prince of Peace comes that we might know what peace truly is, that our hearts might rest in the assurance of salvation, and that we might go on to extend peace outward. Bless and be blessed.
Romans 5: 1-2a: Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.
The Christ Candle is in the center of the wreath, and is lit on Christmas Eve and/or Christmas Day. This is what we have all been waiting for – the light of the world come down.
John 1: 1-14
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life,and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
6 There was a man sent from God whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. 8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.
9 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
And so 2012 wraps up tonight. It has in many ways been a blur, and while much has been learned this has been very much a year of not quite feeling like myself, or at least not the version of myself that I would like to be. And yet perhaps that allows for growth, or the ability to identify areas of needed growth, and noticing the things that matter and the things that are less important, and where compromise is necessary . . . and recognizing how in the midst of what seems it will be nearly constant change in one way or another, there is the need for an anchor. And what will that anchor be? We choose many things to be anchors for ourselves, the things that give us some sense of stability, and some are more solid and sure than others. This year I seem to have been floundering a bit, grasping at ropes attached to all sorts of random anchors and dropping all kinds of compasses from my pockets. But my true anchor is, of course, Christ. And my compass must be His Word. And my traveling companions? Well, Him, of course, the magical and comforting presence of His Holy Spirit. And I hope many of you, my friends, His church. And yes, let there be an assortment of the rest of the world’s characters, that we might bravely search and experience and celebrate this colorful gift of a place, this rollicking gift of life, together.
Here comes 2013.