05 December 2011

Let all mortal flesh keep silence

Do you know that hymn?  It is a spooky, scary, solemn hymn, and I love it.  We sang it two Sundays ago, on the first Sunday in Advent.
Let all mortal flesh keep silence
and with fear and trembling stand;
Ponder nothing earthly minded,
For with blessing in His hand
Christ our God to earth descended
Our full homage to demand.
I find these words such a strong rebuke to the way our culture wants to treat Christmas.  Everything feels so frenetic and over-the-top, too loud and hurried.  I find myself retreating and wondering how am I to treat this time?  Buy presents or don't?  Instead of buying presents, buy animals and wells for those in need?  Decorate when?  How much?  What does Christmas even mean?!  I know it means Emmanuel, God with us, Love came down, but why do we celebrate it for so long?  Why aren't I filled with peace as I think about these things?
Oh Lord, help my Scroogish-heart!
Ponder nothing earthly minded.
I'm keeping it real here, friends.  Not to worry, we are observing Advent, and in some new ways, too.
This year we have a Jesse Tree and are reading the devotional from Ann Voskamp.  And weekly, we light the Advent candle and read and sing. And daily, we open the little windows, because I just can't resist these lovely European calendars (I bought one, and my mom sent one, too!).
Praying that you and yours are filled with peace in the ways you wait and celebrate.


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