December 4, 2008

Advent Basket Day 4

Once I get out my Christmas box of decor, I'll take a picture of my Advent Basket. Like a recent Prairie Home Companion Lake Wobegon story character, I'm reluctant to decorate for Christmas. Monte's leaving town for Norway in a week, not returning till the 21st, and we go to Travis and Sarah's for Christmas Eve, making our traditional meal there, and coming home Christmas morning. I am going to be reacquainting myself with tapestry weaving during that time as well as Adventing. BUT, Dawson will be on school break soon, and I'm sure there's going to be lots of young people hanging around. AND besides, I do like Christmas tree lights - peaceful evenings in the dark with the wood stove crackling. So this weekend I'll probably have Dawson find a smallish, mainly skinny tree (we have a lot of these around on our property)(not a Charlie Brown tree - boy has that become a phrase for literacy - we all know, picture, exactly what it means! I'd pull out that video, but don't think our VCR works.) 

Okay, okay ... Day 4's Advent bag has already burnt birthday candles in it, saying, "We use these when celebrating birthdays. They make light. Read Matthew 5:14-16."

Visual artist me loves the way Eugene Peterson words it: "You're to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept...If I make you light-bearers, you don't think I'm going to hide you under a bucket, do you?...Shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives..."

Birthday - I am rebirthed in Jesus. "Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound/ That saved a wretch like me/ I once was lost, but now am found/ was blind but now I see ..." I was thinking on how Jesus heals, and my response of gratitude, now that I'm found and can see: Oh that I DO be a light-bearer God, that others may see, and hunger and thirst after You.

I was also pondering Vincent Van Gogh's life, reflected in his art. When he didn't do his art, he was not sane, he was in darkness. Van Gogh felt sent of God to be a missionary amongst the peasants. Many of his sketches and paintings are of people in mining camps or working in the fields ... But he had a falling out with his denomination, in giving all his possessions to the poor. He felt abandoned by the church. If you look at two of his famous paintings: Starry Night and the Church at Auvers, there is no life/light shining from the church windows.

Open the eyes of our heart Lord; help us see ... help me, on my hill, shine my light ... This little light of mine ... help me, show me, how to be generous with my life. Be my mouth, hands, and feet.
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