December 21, 2008

Advent Sunday 4 & Avent Basket Day 21

The 4th advent candle is the angel candle. Angels throughout scripture announce things. And give hope, support, and strength.

But they don't assure that the world at large and our own individual places of life go on unchanged. Angel visits usually mean detours are ahead, major changes are impending, and lives and destinies will soon be impacted. In fact, there's not one place in scripture where they start their words without "Fear not...". Is it their looks?

When angels appear, something of the divine breaks in upon our human history. Something beyond our understanding and definitely out of our control. Something that shows us there's more to life than what meets the eye - another realm beyond - another story larger than the small one we live in and tend to think we write.

What fears prevent or distract me from receiving a message wholeheartedly? My hearing it does not depend on how cute or striking the messenger might be. Do I have faith? Can I trust the God-graced words, seemingly in the dark and I can't see everything around me? even in the light?

"Hey, unto YOU a Savior is born," announced the angel Gladys Herdman. Just writing this makes me smile, thinking of the book it's out of. Every year since it came out we've read The Best Christmas Pageant Ever (which there's only used copies of now, starting at $49!). It's such a fun and great book for a fresh look at the Christmas story. It was a healing story for me the first year I read it!

"I bring you good news of a great joy which shall be for all peoples." The Savior, Christ, is God's gift. In giving His Son, He gave Himself. He loved us first before we loved Him.

In today's Advent Basket bag is a miniature jar of mustard seeds. "A small seed. Read Matthew 17:20. These grow into a very large plant."

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