Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sunday Afternoon Tea


I've heard it before, said by people whom I respect but must "agree to disagree" about the Christmas season.  Friends who have chosen not to celebrate Christmas or decorate or do anything special because after all... it is most likely not the date of His birth, trees and lights and "insert object" are pagan symbols, etc., and one must be spiritual about these things, you know.

Really?

To me and mine, there is no better way in the universe to glorify our Lord then to sparkle.

When the Christmas tree (which by the way, we do not hold hands, surround the tree, and worship) is decorated and all nicely lit in these darkest days of the year... we are reminded of the Light of His coming... and we worship Him.

When candles are lit, glowing softly while cooking or cleaning or reading or enjoying a cup of tea at the end of a long and dark day... we worship Him.

When we hear His name glorified in music all around us we go about our day cooking and baking and shopping and driving and living our life... we worship Him.

We knead the bread dough, mix cookies, melt chocolate, bake pies, roast turkeys or ham or geese, assemble the side dishes served only at Christmas, call Mom to question again how she makes gravy, contact Grandma to ask for a forgotten recipe, and set the table with the finest of china... we worship Him.

We search all year for special gifts which tell another that we know their hearts and their desires and the bent in which God has made them and show heartfelt excitement as we open their gifts made with paper and glue, and ... we worship Him.

Even in homes and nations and places where He is not honored as Lord and coming King, they know this Day is different as across the world all of His people are thinking of that manger in Bethlehem... and we worship Him.

For all there are those who want to silence the reason for the Day, we think of Him as the music and the traditions and the movies and stories and the radio and the television and the stores and Main Street all come together to tell us there is something special about this time of year and whether they know it or not... it is Him.

It seems at times that the forest outside my house, with trees which are dark sculptures in the night... that very forest in its' silence and the moonlight on the snow and the animals slumbering where they cannot be seen... silently worship Him and await that time He makes all things new again.

The creche which is outlawed in the public square sits beside our doors or on our mantels or on a table where it can be seen and felt and if made of the proper materials... touched by little hands... and admired from a distance if delicately assembled... and we worship Him.

And because of His first Advent and anticipating His second... we sparkle in the darkness of a fallen world... this which C. S. Lewis calls The Silent Planet.  I love sparkle...


One Solitary Life

He was born in an obscure village, the son of a peasant woman.

He grew up in another village, where he worked in a carpenter's shop until he was thirty. Then for three years he became a wandering preacher.

He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never had a family or owned a house. He didn't go to college. He never visited a big city. He never travelled two hundred miles from the place where he was born. He did none of those things one usually associates with greatness.

He had no credentials but himself.

He was only thirty-three when the tide of public opinion turned against him. His friends ran away. He was turned over to his enemies and went through a mockery of a trial. He was executed by the state. 

While he was dying, his executioners gambled for his clothing, the only property he had on earth. When he was dead he was laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend.

Twenty centuries have come and gone, and today he is the central figure of the human race and the leader of mankind's progress. 

All the armies that ever marched, all the navies that ever sailed, all the parliaments that ever sat, all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man on this earth as much as that One Solitary Life.

Dr. James Allen Francis, presumed author 

Picture:  Family Circle, artist Lee Stroncek

22 comments:

jayne said...

I do so love this post, and the beautiful pic, and I agree, Christmas is a special time because of our Saviour's arrival into this world. We can happily celebrate this, and decorate our homes, eat, drink and rejoice and meet with loved ones as a way of focussing on Him. Its ok to have both, the one doesn't cancel out the other. My youngest son has come home from his first term at university, so it is special to be together again, and provide him with the comforts of home! xx

Becky K. said...

Brenda,
I agree with you one hundred percent!

Vee said...

Thank you for another excellent Sunday post. I couldn't agree with you more about Christians celebrating what so many call a pagan holiday. It is the one time of year when the entire world thinks about the coming of the Redeemer, whether or not they believe. God bless the preparations at your home, Brenda.

thearmychapswife said...

I so appreciated this post! It really is all about worship, isn't it? Thank you for the beautifully worded reminders.

Scrappy quilter said...

Wonderful post. It's the materialism I don't like. Hugs

Denise said...

Merry Christmas,I have been enjoying your blog site for awhile now.It's lovely to read and look through.Your Sunday pics are so charming.May our Lord continue to bless you through His season and all year long.

amy said...

i don't normally comment, but frequently read. this is beautiful. thank you.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful!

Jan Hatchett said...

It is the intentions of a person's heart that determines what is being worshipped. If one is convinced that having a tree is evil, then by having a tree, that person will make it "evil." If a person believes that they are honoring Christ with that tree, then they will, indeed, honor Christ.

I am glad you have chosen to honor Christ in your celebrations and in your daily life.

Musical Maggie said...

Great post. Full of wonderful thoughts and excellent points.

Merry Christmas

Joanne said...

So beautiful and so well-written...just perfect!
Brenda, you have just summarized our series of messages at church these past few Sundays. The Light of the World has come to shine...
I just listened to Johnny Cash's version of this poem this past week...love it!

Thank you for this beautiful meditation! Would you mind if I share your blog and this link for others to read and enjoy?
Blessings during this Season of Light,
Joanne at Seasonal Hearth

Sallie@aquietsimplelife.com said...

Brenda,

I completely agree. I wrote about this topic awhile back and linked to an article that I found particularly helpful. We have faced this kind of pressure from a family member and it was very hard. (Feel free to delete this comment if you wish since it has a link!)

P.S. We also have your photo from today in a puzzle. So cozy! :-)

Anonymous said...

Thank you.

Lori

Fixing My Thoughts said...

Great post, Brenda. When we hold Him first in our hearts, we see Him everywhere, and as you say, are reminded to worship Him. I always look forward to your Sunday Afternoon Tea posts. Bess

Mrs.Rabe said...

I say Beautiful and Amen!

Deanna

freetobeme - Anita said...

Thanks for expressing my very feelings.

moreofhim said...

AMEN and beautifully said.

God bless you - Julie

The Journey said...

I agree. The way the world is hustle and bustle about Christmas ruins it for me though. I want to get back to more about getting together less about the shopping. Although I do love to give gifts.

Annie Joy said...

I am so happy to have been lead to your blog -- I feel as if I've come home! Thank you for this wonderful message about Christmas and the many ways we worship him. Annie (a new follower)

Lady Kara said...

My first visit to your blog. It's delightful! What a sweet, wonderful post. God bless.

Lady Kara

Sally Clarkson said...

As usual, I agree with you! Good job on the article. I just never thought of writing down my thoughts on this. Sorry for all the snow--I think we are having a drought. I hope your Christmas is merry and bright! and that you know you are beloved by Him. Blessings and greetings to all. (And ps, my secretary told me today she made your soup and it was wonderful.)

Deb said...

Hi Brenda ~ Well, how late in commenting can you get?! It's January 6, and I'm just now reading your December posts. But still I wanted to let you know that I thought your post was perfect! We have friends who don't celebrate...I can't quite understand it. So it was enjoyable to read how you worship the King as we do...in everything!