Godspace Light Newsletter

by Christine Sine

by Christine Sine

It’s the week before Christmas and the frenzy of activity to get ready for the season is now in full sway. This year there are really only three weeks of Advent so I am not posting another Advent liturgy, but rather this Christmas one.

This last week before Christmas is the week when I love to shift my focus, from Advent preparations to Christmas celebration. I particularly like to change the music I listen to, switching to Christmas music for the first time. I know many are already steeped in Christmas music but I find it has much more meaning if I don’t listen to it until this last week. I also love to listen to the O Antiphons, especially written for these days that lead up to Christmas.

As Christmas approaches, I also love to take time out of the busyness to pause and reflect on the real meaning of this season. In my Meditation Monday: Breathe in Welcome. I shared a breathing prayer exercise written especially for Advent that you might find helpful as a way to find that peaceful centre in the midst of the hectic activity. I have used it every morning this last week and found it really helped to focus in on my journey towards the birth of Christ. On Sunday afternoon we attended the Messiah, an annual event for us that also helps us focus. Yesterday I posted a liturgy for Christmas and Carol Dixon posted Advent prayers and reflections – just shows that we cannot make up our minds as to whether we are still in Advent or now getting ready for Christmas Day.

On Saturday I shared Tom’s and my Christmas letter for the year. It has been a good year for us and I hope it has been for you too. On Saturday Ron Friesen wrote about his reflections on Light at this season, something that came out of his visit to the botanical gardens. Where do you see light in this season? Friday, Lilly’s Freerange Friday – Advent Invitations – Are We Invited to Receive Joy. I love her compelling question How can you experience more Joy in the days ahead? This is indeed the week to receive joy. On Sunday, Gaudete Sunday we lit the joy candle, the rose colored candle on our traditional Advent wreaths. So much of the atmosphere of Advent is gloomy, expressing our needs for a Messiah in the midst of the woes of the world. Sunday was a welcome break from that.

On Thursday Karen Wilk in Wonder of God Among Us, provided a beautiful reflection on John 1:14 :Sometimes we read and hear Bible verses so often that we may forget to stop and ponder what they really mean. If we stop to think about what John 1:14 declaresand what we celebrate at this time every yearit’s astonishing. What can we ponder about John 1:14 for our lives today as Christ’s witnesses? On Wednesday John Van de Laar in Why Wait? talked about the fact that we have lost our capacity to wait, and shares some of the valuable lessons we learn through waiting. I heartily recommend his reflections.

I think that for many of us, the season around Christmas is a great time to turn towards poetry for strength and refreshment. The most popular poems on Godspace currently are Maya Angelou’s Amazing Peace, and John O’Donohue’s At The End of the Year. I also love Henry Nowen’s Christmas Prayer and Howard Thurman’s The Mood of Christmas.

My own poetry writing is still very much in Advent so let me end with this poem that I wrote a couple of days ago. It was inspired by Drew Jackson’s book of poems God Speaks Through Wombs.

I wait for a God
Who speaks through those
Who are vulnerable and despised.
I wait for a God who speaks through women,
Through those who have wombs.
One who has not slept with a man,
Yet gives birth to a child who will change the world.
Another thought too old to give birth,
Her child too would shatter the earth,
And prepare the way for the coming Christ.
Then there was Anna,
Praising God for years on end in the temple.
I don’t think she ever had a child,
Yet she too finds a place in the Christmas story.
I wait for this God,
Who welcomes everyone,
Outcasts on the edge of society,
Shepherds in a field,
Foreigners who are searching.
This God I will follow,
Through a child,
Born in Bethlehem,
So many years ago.
Jesus is his name.

And may all of us enjoy a blessed rest of Advent and a joyous Christmas celebration as we too await his coming.

Looking for resources to add meaning to your holiday season? We have collected liturgies, services, music, and much more to celebrate Advent, Christmas and into the New Year and Epiphany. Blessings on you and yours.

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