Monday, 2 December 2013

A Pause in Advent

Mattman did the last of his three big tests on Saturday morning. This was a huge blessing! An end to many months of hard work on everyone's part. He wanted to go to Pizza Express for lunch afterwards, which happily lives in Belfast's very swish and lovely Victoria Square.
Christmas Starters it said on the menu, though I only realised this after I had taken the picture. It did however strike me as nicely appropriate on the first weekend in Advent. Starting  to think about something that has been hidden from view by many other big issues in our Strawberry land lately.
So I am more than usually happy to be Pausing in Advent. I really didn't expect to be thinking positively about Christmas at all this year. Mum so stricken by challenge, Dad needing to be so brave and independent, Mattman studying so hard, life just so busy, the house so chaotic, time so squeezed.
Something wholly unexpected occurred though. Burst from the dark sky in the midst of mundane sheep guarding and illuminated the landscape. Not only, to quote the Grinch, "Maybe Christmas doesn't come from a store." But also maybe Christmas doesn't even mean family. If I believe that Christmas means Jesus, means God incarnated, means peace, hope, joy and love, then maybe that's what I have to try to live. Christmas standing immutable, regardless of everyone's circumstances or my feelings or how many lights we string around the tree. Every day.
These thoughts are my Christmas Starters this year. And if I'm going to quote Dr Seuss, then you'll know I have to quote  Jostein Gaarder:
"I can't see why a little lambkin should be in such a hurry."
The angel helped her to her feet and said confidentially, "It's going to Bethlehem."
Elizabet had stopped crying, "To Bethlehem?"
"Yes. To Bethlehem, to Bethlehem! For that's where Jesus was born."
Elisabet was very surprised at what the angel said...
"Then I want to go to Bethlehem," she said.



GretchenJoanna said...

"Christmas standing immutable"

YES - God with us, standing with us, immutably. Thank you, Mags!

Pom Pom said...

I'm glad the exams are behind you now. Praying for your dear mum, Mags.

Jane and Chris said...

See you in Bethlehem.
Jane x

Floss said...

Oooh, Mags - I'm so impressed you have made time to join us in blogging through all of this. Whilst I've not commented much, I've been keeping track of your comings, goings, trials, tribulations, and gratitude, and you have all been in my prayers. And indeed, family is a key, but Jesus is The Key!

Betty said...

Hope Mags you will enjoy Christmas despite all the issues you are dealing with.
'Faith, Hope, Love' the greatest of these is love' - Corinthians
I would have thought faith would be the first but, no, it's Love - love for our Creator and for our family - there's never a limit on how much love a person is able to give!and of course 'God IS love' Bettyx

Kezzie said...

SO much going on!! You put this really well. Yes, forget the earthly stuff and let's fix our eyes on Jesus!x

Gumbo Lily said...

Yes, good words, Mags. Christmas comes, whether we have it "all together" or not.

Fat Dormouse said...

As others have said, you have caught the essence: Christmas = Christ's Mass = Emmanuel = God with us = hope. Joy. Peace. Love.
We, as Christians, should be the embodiment of these things.

Let's join the Lambkin on his race to Bethlehem - but not too fast! Let's savour the getting there too.