Didn’t get here on Pageant Sunday? Need another look? Here are some moments from our Christmas Pageant. Send more if you have them! Thanks to all who led and participated.
Tagged with 2013
Looking for new ideas to celebrate Advent, I came across a tradition called an Advent Spiral on a Waldorf School website. The idea is simple, yet magical: construct a spiral from evergreen trimmings, place a large candle in the center, and give each child one candle to light and place around the spiral. Slowly and beautifully the light grows in the spiral, symbolizing pushing back the darkness of Advent and waiting for the Light of Jesus. Melissa Tustin echoed my excitement to try this gorgeous activity, and suggested we add a tree-decorating component, based on another beautiful and simple tradition of creating natural ornaments to trim a wild tree in the woods or in a garden to feed the local wildlife. Yet another example of finding light and life in unexpected places during the dark, cold days of Advent. On the evening of December 7th, Melissa and I invited the preschool children and their families to come experience the mystery, wonder, and quiet waiting of Advent in a whole new way. Sixteen children and 13 adults joined us for a story, a walk in our spiral, delicious refreshments, and an assortment of natural ornament crafts created to decorate a tree in our Welcome Garden (look for our tree the next time you visit the garden!). It was a wonderful evening filled with beauty, meditation, and lots of joy, and the beginning of a tradition we hope will continue for many years to come. ~Jessica
This Sunday, WCUCers of all ages participated in our Christmas pageant, telling again this ancient story of promise. It was a joyful morning.
One of the reasons we act this story out every year is to try to really pay attention to it. We get so familiar with this story, it stops surprising us. But it was, and is, a very surprising story. Just listen to these children tell it:
May this be a holy Christmas for you and yours.
As Christmas draws near, here is some music to welcome Christ among us.
How do we magnify God? The first thing this question made me think of was a favorite Far Side cartoon from the 1980s. These cartoons by Gary Larson were a favorite of mine because the humor was a little twisted and he had a great time poking fun at geeky scientists, and ALL of my friends were geeky PhD students (myself excluded of course). Anyway, this cartoon shows a woman driving down the road in her car, glancing into her side view mirror. In the mirror is a close-up view of a huge bloodshot monster eyeball, and of course the mirror says “Objects in mirror are closer than they appear”.
Now how do I get from this image to a reasonable reflection on how to magnify God? Imagine the same scene, but replace the scary monster eyeball with your favorite image of God. Now…BE THE MIRROR! In this season of seemingly hopeless commercialism, and traditions that have little to do with Christ’s holy birth, strive with me to be the lens that magnifies God’s love. Help others to feel God is closer than they think. Create holy moments among the mundane. Give someone else your spot in line, be a courteous driver, smile a lot, offer hugs more, go out of your way to thank the person behind the counter. Diffract His Light into the darker corners of the season. (OK, so maybe I’m a little geekier than I’m willing to admit…) BE THE MIRROR.
How is God magnified in you? How do you see God being magnified in the world around you? What does Mary’s song say to you?
This Sunday we’ll talk about the Magnificat, the song of praise Mary sings in the Gospel of Luke. But before that in the text is the Annunciation, when Gabriel visits Mary to announce the good news of Jesus. This year the Salt Project came out with a wonderful film celebrating this story, with help from a small pig named Hamlet. Great for all ages — check it out!
What are we waiting and hoping for? In John 11:11 Jesus says “Our friend Lazurus has fallen asleep, but I am going there to wake him up.”
The Christmas Advent season is a beautiful time of year. Love and joy, service and singing abound and many people wake up, reigniting their relationship with God. For those who have been asleep to God’s presence and love, this month can wake up many. Fran gave beautiful examples of the way God makes his presence known to her everyday. His presence is everywhere when our eyes and heart are open. Yet at times the beauty of his love all around is easily missed. We are sleeping. All relationships ebb and flow. My relationship with God is no different. Our relationship deepens every time we bear witness to his presence.
My family’s hope is that this season as we work to look beyond the commercialism we reawaken to the unending presence of God. He never leaves us. We leave him thru distraction, indifference, hopelessness and fear. Our hope for those that may be reawakened is that they stay the course beyond this season and make their season of love for God, a lifetime of love.
What are you waiting and hoping for this Advent season?
The combined WCUC and Holy Family Choirs blessed us with their presence this past Sunday, singing beautiful arrangements of traditional Advent hymns, selections from Handel’s Messiah, and more. Many who attended were especially touched by the closing selection, when the choir surrounded us with candelight and the song “Light of Christ.” Here’s another version of that song to enjoy:
Here are some pieces to accompany us as we wait and hope this week. What music gives you hope while we wait for the fulfillment of God’s realm on earth?