It is a delight to be the spouse of a hard working, joy-filled, dedicated man.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Well There You Have It

I was debating as to what to write about today, as usual my mind is full and in a million different directions. I had pasted a bit of my favorite song of the season, Advent, along with a few passages from Psalms, a little something Jesus said to the Pharisees and I was thinking that instead I would tell you all about redoing the pattern for my ear flap hats that I am into. As I was erasing things that I had already written and about to erase one of the verses of my favorite song, I hit the publish button or something and the next thing I knew this one thing was now published on my blog. I'll leave it, and this will be my topic.

Oh, come, oh, come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here

Until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel

Shall come to you, O Israel!

The Advent season is a very precious one to me indeed. My folks never went all out with decorating up stuff like I have a tendency to do. My mom had a white candle that looked like a tree and sat on a cake plate, we didn't do stockings as a kids and if on some weird occasion we did we brought out real socks.

There were red bells that my mom hung in the dinning room window that plugged in and lit up, it seems to me they flashed randomly. We had several Firestone Christmas albums, my dad had a service station and we got a lot of promotional things. Our tree always went up much later than everyone else, we had an Advent wreath most years, and my dad always put up our lights on the first Sunday of Advent.

I went to the Parish school up the street, a million miles up the street it seemed but I think I remember counting twelve blocks up and two over. during the Advent season we did not sing Christmas carols. There were special songs for that, songs that told why He was coming, songs that prepared you for why you were about to celebrate the single most important event ever know to man, the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. If he had not become incarnate then the rest that followed would not really have followed now would it?

The parish that I grew up in and my family took the season of Advent seriously, no parties before Christmas, Christmas parties were for the Christmas season not for the time of preparation . It was in itself a beautiful time. A time that I as a child learned more and more each year as to why the incarnation of my God was such a huge thing.

Many a Advent Sunday I remember in a cold dark Church with my small hand slipped in to my father's enormous ones. How he would gently hold it and caress it, his face an odd mixture of sadness and peace. I think I am understanding the hint of sadness in his face. I know it is a big deal for Christians to go around loudly reminding all the people who dare to horn in on our season of celebration saying Jesus in the reason for the season, my friend saw a sign the other day, not on a church building but on a business, it read, "Sin is the reason for the season".

Sin and oppression, the oppression of rebellion against God. Foolish, ignorant, get-you-no-where-but-hell rebellion disguised by the Enemy as autonomy and freedom.

That was the sadness I think I saw in my father's face. During Advent he was reminded of why Christ had come into the world, to free man from the oppression of the Enemy. That isn't really sad but cause for joy, but to know that man was bound by chains of sin and death, that is sad business indeed.

But there was the peaceful side of my father's face, the side of his countenance that knew that he was free, that Christ had come indeed and had freed him. It says so in the scriptures that we listened to together during that season and it was repeated in the songs that we quietly sang together, that man would be free in Christ.

Come, thou long-expected Jesus
Come, thou long-expected Jesus,

born to set thy people free;
from our fears and sins release us,
let us find our rest in thee.

Israel's strength and consolation,
hope of all the earth thou art:
dear desire of every nation,
joy of every longing heart.

Born thy people to deliver,
born a child, and yet a king,
born to reign in us for ever,
now thy gracious kingdom bring.

By thine own eternal Spirit
rule in all our hearts alone;
by thine all-sufficient merit
raise us to thy glorious throne.

The other day I was thinking that I wasn't being very Christmas-y. The whole bed rest thing really taking the wind out of my sails and things are not getting done, baked or transformed. The girls are actually slowly decorating the house, slower than we usually do even.

And I was okay with it, Christ will be celebrated regardless of how many little bits are all over the house, in fact I was then looking forward to a simpler celebration. But then I reminded myself that this really is the time to be quiet and think about what we are soon to celebrate, to think about how that light pierced the darkness, forevermore. That I needed to return to that time of quiet contemplation that my father so embraced in the echo-ey cold darkness.

O come, divine Messiah!
The world in silence waits the day
When hope shall sing its triumph,
And sadness flee away.

Dear Savior haste;
Come, come to earth,
Dispel the night and show Thy face,
And bid us hail the dawn of grace.

O come, divine Messiah!
The world in silence waits the day
When hope shall sing its triumph,
And sadness flee away.

O Christ, whom nations sigh for,
Whom priest and prophet long foretold,
Come break the captive fetters;
Redeem the long-lost fold.

You come in peace and meekness,
And lowly will Thy cradle be;
All clothed in human weakness
We shall Thy Godhead see.


KathyB. said...

I too, love that carol. And I meant to comment on your new ceiling...WHAT AN IMPROVEMENT! Now when you're bedridden and staring at the ceiling you can ponder how you will finally color it to suit !

Susie said...

O Come, O come Emmanuel. That is one of my favorites too Lanny!

Hope you are feeling better everyday.

Eggs In My Pocket / Yesteryear Embroideries said...

First of your new ceiling! I think I love all Christmas is hard to pick a favorite! blessings,Kathleen

Lisa @ Life with 4! said...

I love this Christmas song. It's on my very favorite CD-- "Christmas in Black and White" by Nicole C. Mullin.

As a kid, we used my Dad's old mismatched socks and hung them from the deer and antelope antlers in the living room. It actually looked quite comical!

Have a wonderful evening, Lanny!

Daisy said...

I enjoyed reading about your Christmas memories and about your Dad, Lanny. Hope you are continuing to rest and feel better every day.

Kanani said...

Garlic! My friend Chester Aaron has written several books on the stuff! I love those varieties you speak of. Just great stuff. Hope the garlic grows well!

Far Side of Fifty said...

Loved hearing your childhood memories:)