Tag Archives: christmas

We Saw His Star

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There is magic in the air.

It is crisp and clean, like a snowflake landing on your tongue or the faint chiming of a bell, the sharp scent of cinnamon or pine trees freshly cut.

It all feels elusive; the waiting, the anticipation, the can’t-quite-put-your-finger-on-it. It shimmers and shines, skirts beneath your feet spreading shadows against the wall, glinting off frosted windows like tinsel, darting just out of sight when you turn your head to catch a glimpse, a miracle shy of the attention.

It is cold now, at least on our side of the world, the side farthest from the sun, the earth tilting us away from the light and toward the unknown. The chill steals your breath and catches in your throat, settling under your skin. It is bone-deep, even as we turn our collars up against the wind, wrap our scarves tighter around our chins, bury gloved hands deeper in our pockets.

It is a reminder, this brittle chill tinted with hope. It doesn’t seem so unforgiving, knowing it has a purpose, knowing it paves the way, knowing the earth will tilt us back toward the sun and edge even closer than it has in months.

Yet here we are, facing space, millions of eternal souls brushing shoulders, hurrying in out of the cold. And as we bustle and hustle and make and check lists, we wait.

We wait for dawn and then for dusk, for the earth to make its way around the sun, for the end of the day or week or month or year, for the culmination, for the prize.

We have been waiting our whole created lives.

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This post is a sample – Day 1 – of my Advent devotional Long Lay the World: Essays & Images to Prepare Him Room, now available as an instant download. If you like what you see, grab your copy and meet me back here each day in December. I’ll bring the hot chocolate.

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The Good Promise

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Here it is. Here we are: Advent, this first Sunday of hope, of a season recognizing and remembering how God came in after us. The more attention I give to this time of anticipation, the more heart space it takes up.

I try to remember my anticipation is nothing – not a thing – compared to the waiting and hoping of God’s people before Jesus was born to us. I try to remember God’s silence leading up to his promise fulfilled. I try to remember a people whose very identity was weighted by the attention and direction of God sliding into emptiness. I wonder if they noticed at first, how the God who spoke to them in fire and wind had grown quiet.

I wonder when their laws and rituals took the place of any intimate relationship with God; I wonder if their blood sacrifices were nothing more than duty, before leaving the temple no closer to holy ground.

Hundreds of years passed between the final prophecies of Malachi promising God’s deliverance and the first chapter in Matthew setting up the story. Generations born and gone with no new word from the God of their ancestors, the God of their history. The history of their people and their favor from God little more than legend.

We are lucky; we flip those few blank pages between the Old and the New and we jump right on in to the catalyst, the coming of Christ.

This season I hope to settle into those blank pages, the silence that stretched for centuries. I hope my heart swells with the anticipation of a promise fulfilled. I hope you’ll join me.

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My Advent devotional Long Lay the World: Essays & Images to Prepare Him Room is now available as an instant download. Grab your copy and meet me back here each day in December. I’ll bring the hot chocolate.

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Filed under Faith