We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand. ~Isaiah 64:8

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Nativity Carnival: Keeping Advent -- Dec 28th

Welcome to the Nativity Carnival: Keeping Advent

Each week, Advent through Epiphany, a new "Mr Linky" will be posted for you to share your Nativity Season-related ideas and thoughts from your blog.  (Just copy the link to your post and paste it into the Mr Linky box below.) 

Also, please add a link on your post back to this page, thanks!


We have been thoroughly enjoying a very relaxing Christmas season.  We've slept in, eaten plenty of leftovers, and enjoyed some games and movies.  There were a few traditions we've done without this year: some due to time, some to expenses, but regardless, the first four days of Christmas have been all that we needed.

I will admit one pang of guilt... we did not attend Christmas worship.  We'd so intended to!  However, some family commitments kept us long out of the house on Christmas Eve and by the time dinner was fixed, eaten and cleared, I was fairly wiped out and still looking at gifts to wrap and stockings to fill.  It makes me sad to say it, but I felt great relief when we made the family decision not to attend the midnight service.  As it was we were up until 1am.  (How thankful I am that my children are late sleepers, even on Christmas morning!  We were able to sleep until after 8.)

A blogging friend (whose blog has recently had a bit of attention after a long season of quiet...much understood quiet, but I've missed her!) sent a message out on Christmas Eve that I found so encouraging....it didn't assuage my guilt when I realized we were not going to attend worship, but as the season has rolled on, I've felt the graciousness of the words. . .
Kathleen Norris writes these lines for Christmas Eve and  I'd share it with my dear mother-friends who might be just as busy or more than me this Christmas Eve and tempted to disgruntled thoughts! She writes, 
"How is it possible to bridge the gap between our sorry reality and the glad, grateful recognition of the Incarnation as the mainstay of our faith? We might begin by acknowledging that if we have neglected the spiritual call of Advent for yet another year, and have allowed ourselves to become thoroughly frazzled by December 24, all is not lost. We are, in fact, in very good shape for Christmas.

It is precisely because we are weary, and poor in spirit, that God can touch us with hope. This is not an easy truth. It means that we accept our common lot, and take up our share of the cross. It means that we do not gloss over the evils we confront every day, both within ourselves and without. Our sacrifices may be great. But as the martyred archbishop of El Salvador, Oscar Romero, once said, it is only the poor and hungry, those who know they need someone on their behalf, who can celebrate Christmas."
I was truly poor in spirit and failing in strength that evening.  And while I didn't make it to a worship service that night (and due to the juggling required for sharing facilities we did not have worship on Christmas day) . . .  I feel we have celebrated Christmas as a wonderful feast:  a feast of much needed togetherness.  But I do look forward to worship this weekend!

How have you been celebrating this Christmas season?  And what are your plans for the rest of the 12 days...how about Epiphany?


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For those submitting links: 
So that others might enjoy the carnival, don't forget to add a link on your post back to this page, thanks!

3 comments:

Michelle @ Liturgical Time said...

For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.~Matt. 18:20

Motherhood and family obligations can be so overwhelming, and at times, crushing.

We are human, that's why we need him. All we can do is our best, and sometimes not even that...and he loves us with an inconceivable love.

Pax Christi friend.

wayside wanderer said...

What a great quote! I so believe this to be true and have been recently ferreting out the often deeply hidden thoughts and attitudes that I have where I tell myself that it depends more on me than on Jesus and replace them with what is true. Renewing my mind and trying to embrace the fact that this will be a life long endeavor.

Blessings,
Leslie

Amy said...

Amen. God understands!