Friday, December 29, 2006

Trumpet Stars and Wise Men

According to the rich tradition of the Christian Church, Christmas doesn't just flash past in one day. Christmas is a season lasting twelve days, ending on Epiphany (Jan 6) when Christians have celebrated the visit of the Magi, the revelation of Jesus as the King of Kings, and the inclusion of the Gentiles en masse in God's Covenant people.

Our family has celebrated with a Magi Treasure Hunt, which is available to you at Celebration Books & Gifts (although, if you order it today, there are no guarantees when it will get to you. Denver continues to be hammered with the most ferocious snowstorm in a century.) The treasure hunt is both a physical hunt through the house, and a hunt through the Bible and Bible archaeology.

This year we have discovered during our treasure hunt, a DVD and website about the Bethlehem Star. The website will give you historical clues and details about archaeo-astronomy during Christ's lifetime that will blow you away. The way that God set up the skies to announce His purposes and plans from the beginning of time, convinces me that this is not Plan B.

The DVD is a visually stunning presentation of the Scriptural clues concerning the nature of the star:
  1. It rises and sets
  2. It was obvious at first only to the Magi. Herod hadn't noticed it.
  3. It was connected to kingship.
  4. It was connected to Israel.
  5. It appeared, disappeared and reappeared.
  6. It appeared to move against the fixed stars.
  7. Specifically, it had to 'lead' the Magi west to Judah from Babylon, and then south from Jerusalem to Bethlehem.
  8. It had to appear to stop over Bethlehem.
Then the DVD proceeds to use the same software we use to analyse and demonstrate stellar and planetary motions at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, together with the ancient historians Tacitus, Josephus and others to establish the correct dates for these events. The result is a sky window that dances with meaning, beauty and wonder.

And yes, there is a series of phenomena that exactly matches the clues! We are the first generation in twenty centuries to have the opportunity to review these signs and wonders firsthand, because of the speed and power of computer calculations.

But the DVD (and website) goes farther, it analyses the end of the dance - the signs and wonders at Christ's death. Just as the sky trumpeted His arrival, it danced His requiem, His dirge. You will weep.

The website:
The DVD: The Bethlehem Star
The software: Starry Night

Go. Read. Worship! Come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord!

Visit the first Anniversary Carnival of Homeschooling at Why Homeschool? which links to this post.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Reviewing Cultural Cruelty

Meso-American archaeology has been something of an avocation since my childhood. I read everything I could find about Aztecs, Incas, Toltecs, Olmecs and Mayas. So Apocalypto's premise was particularly intriguing.

In Apocalypto, Jaguar Paw, a father from a less-powerful tribe is separated from his pregnant wife and child when a Mayan (though the art, fashions and temples really look more Aztec) raiding party burns his village and takes the healthy adults captive. Jaguar Paw hides his family in a dry well, promising to return for them. The movie follows the captives to the city, where the women are sold as slaves and the men are marked for sacrifice in the city center. (Skip to the next paragraph if you don't want to spoil the ending.) Jaguar Paw is stretched over the altar under the priest's obsidian blade, when the mass sacrifices are halted by the end of a solar eclipse. He escapes the raiders' human hunt game to rescue his family, killing nearly all of the raiders one by one in the process. As the final raiders run Jaguar Paw to ground on the beach, the Spanish land. Jaguar Paw returns to the jungle, while the Mayan raiders receive the Spanish (in real life, the Aztec did this first).

The movie is very violent - on a par with Saving Private Ryan. There are beheadings, battles, a mass grave of headless victims, the sacrificed heads on pikes, etc. But even at that, the violence and cruelty is soft-pedalled from what the Codices, written at the time of the Spanish contact, describe. The most disturbing images, though don't come from the on-screen violence, but from the callous abandonment of the village children, the utter rejection of the old and infirm, the power-politics conducted from the top of the bloody temple, the cultural obsession with death...

We should welcome this realism as a relief from the saccharine treatment of American tribal life in movies like Dances with Wolves. This is especially true in view of the newest craze for naively resurrecting ancient Aztec religious dance traditions - right along with the rest of the religion. We need to remember what we have been rescued from, however deficient the rescuers themselves might have been.

The Spanish don't particularly look like heroes here. When they turn up on the beach, we realize that this internecine warfare which we have been following for the last two hours has just become completely irrelevant. Judgement is at hand. But Jaguar Paw's refusal to greet or to know the Spanish, shows his preference to use the Creation as a springboard to his 'new beginning' over the men who were coming. At least in the jungle, Jaguar Paw would fall into the hands of God rather than the hands of men.

As a child, I was glad that the Spanish stopped the practice of human sacrifice, but was enraged at them for destroying so much of Meso-American civilization. As I grew older, and was able to read more detailed studies, I realized how much of a mercy to future generations that destruction had been. But those mercies are lost to twentieth-century TV-addicts who get their history from the silver screen.

Apocalypto shows us the seamy side of Meso-American life, and has garnered plenty of criticism for doing so. Critics argue that the violence implies that Pre-Columbian native Americans were stupid brutes. How could such vile people also build incredibly accurate astronomical observatories, acoustically sophisticated public buildings; how could they have invented the idea of zero, and developed a calendar more accurate in some ways than ours, etc?

How indeed? Surely that is the whole point of Mel Gibson's effort: intellectual and cultural sophistication is no innocualtion against corruption. And his refusal to glorify the European explorers prompts us to look at our own intellectually, culturally, technologically sophisticated society. Don't we abandon and kill our children? Don't we find newer and better ways to reject the old and the infirm? Aren't we becomming increasingly skillful at manipulating masses whom we deliberately keep ignorant and dependent? Aren't we becomming increasingly pitiless in our pursuit of scapegoats?

I give Apocalypto a guarded recommendation. There is crude humor, National Geographic-type lack of clothing (not-quite nudity), lots of gore. But the message is an antidote to a lot of the twaddle that passes for historical revisionism. There is a lot of food for thought here.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Redeeming the Time: Imitating Christ 2

"...out of the mouths of babes and infants you have established strength (praise) because of your foes, to still the enemy and the avenger..." (Ps 8:2)

This is the paradox of the Incarnation. God proposed to still His mighty and numerous foes out of the mouth of one Child, who had taken on all the limitations and disadvantages of humanity.

And yet, because He put on frail flesh, we can put on the whole armor of God (Eph 6). Because He did not cry or lift up His voice against His oppressors (Isa 42:2, 53:7), we can open our mouths in praise and thanks (Phil 2:9-11; Isa 35:10; Lk 1:67-75). Because He limited His divine perceptions to five senses, we have our eyes opened, our ears unstopped, our hands strengthened, our tongues loosed, our feet straightened and our prisons unlocked (Isa 42:7; 35:3-6).

Because He did not insist upon His divine prerogatives, but condescended to serve the blind, the lame, the fearful, the ungrateful, and even the traitor; we are called and enabled to serve where no one sees, no one helps, no one says 'thanks', and where we are likely to be betrayed (Phil. 2:5-11). Probably we will not have to search far to find such a place in our lives.

May God strengthen us with His joy to this service: that we may set aside our prerogatives and serve in such a way that eyes are opened, ears are unstopped, hands are strengthened, tongues are loosed, and prisons unlocked. And though we suffer in this service, let it not be simply as a doormat, but only as it frees to righteousness those we serve and binds us in joy and gratitude to the One who suffered everything for us.

Let us see and adore Him.

An Epiphany

We've never been rich, but we thank God. There really is something about scarcity that sharpens the sensibilities. When it comes to gift-giving times, the desire to be able to gift the ones you love with something of real value is almost a physical ache.

And it brings into clearer focus some of the reasons why Jesus came to us in poverty and lowliness - not only to feel our weaknesses, our miseries, but also to feel that sharp longing to have something to give...

On my birthday, three little packages shone bravely from the festive table. The first, urged upon me eagerly by Elizabeth, our eldest, was wrapped in an origami envelope of Byzantine complexity. The shining contents cascaded and clicked sensuously into my hand: a necklace gathered of all the lost and secret bits of the jewelry our sometime princesses have worn in their day. She had even sacrificed a couple of real Venetian glass beads that had been handsome vases in her dollhouse. Together they were a talisman of childhood's delights.

Then Winston, with ingenuous grin and self-deprecating wag of the head, thrust two carefully folded sheets of paper into my hand. "I love you, Mommy!" he breathed. The papers showed a four-year-old's pen and ink jungle inhabited by an ark-full of dinosaur stickers. Just days before, feeling wealthy with the proceeds of her first babysitting job, Elizabeth had bought each of her siblings a small present. These dinosaurs had been Winston's.

With a miserable sigh, Anne pushed her offering closer and handed me another origami envelope. She plopped down next to me, studying my face as I read the careful second grade script, "I didn't have much to work with. Love, Anne". I blinked and swallowed hard. Inside her box was a bird, soaring wings outstretched. It was too large to make a convenient ornament, but its curves whispered, "touch me". Anne alone had seen hidden possibilities in it as it lay in a jumbled garage sale box last summer and had rescued it with her last nickel. Now it wore fairy tale colors and sparkled with a crusting of make-believe gems that would have done credit to the Emperor's nightingale.

Anne glowed like a star next to me, urgent with the hope that I, too, could now see the fabulous beauty in this homely bit of plastic. And those wings arched with a burning radiance, thundering accompaniment to the heartbreaking "Gloria!" blazing from otherwordly throats, the love song of the Bridegroom, argent with the hope that we, His beloved could see our ransom, our resurrection, our Redeemer in a pauper's newborn.

With such gifts, we shall never be poor.

December 1996

Kim Anderson

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Redeeming the Time: Imitating Christ

This Sunday, Christmas Eve coincides with the final Sunday of Advent. So we have a superabundance of Scripture to choose from. Traditionally, when this happens the Church has read the Advent Scriptures in the morning and the Christmas Eve Scriptures in the evening.

Fourth Sunday of Advent:
Isa 42:1-12; Eph 6:10-20; John 3:16-21; Ps 8
Christmas Eve: Isa 35:1-10; Phil 2:5-11; Luke 1:67-80; Ps 45

These are particularly rich, showing us how "all the light of sacred story gathers round thy head divine..." to quote the hymn. Here we see Jesus, the King, the avenging warrior, the lover, the humble servant, the obedient son, the innocent babe, the Creator, the Redeemer...

And then there is the admonition, "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Jesus Christ..." So let us especially consider 'how would God have me to imitate Christ?'

See you Friday!

P.S. Thanks for being patient waiting for this post! Denver is in the grip of a tree-cracking, road-blocking, power-grid busting blizzard. I'm grateful to be able to get online!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Redeeming the Time: Changing the World 2

"He that hath the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice; this my joy therefore is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease."
(Jn 3:29, 30)

John the Baptist spoke these words on the eve of his martyrdom, and they are the secret of weathering the shakings that destroy evil.

We identify with God in His judgement of evil, in His wooing of righteousness. And in so doing, the part of us that is merely and fallenly human is shaken off. But the part that is the eternal core, which Christ is wooing will never be shaken. We can joy, therefore, even in the shakings.

Mary and Joseph weathered significant personal earthquakes as they awaited the birth of Jesus:
  • Mary's character was impugned as she turned up pregnant, but unmarried. But she steadfastly focused on the promises of God, and rejoiced, composing that incredible poem, the Magnificat (Lk. 1:46 - 55).
  • Joseph endured the disappointment of suspecting his virtuous betrothed of falling into gross sin. But he was ready to believe the astounding news that the angel brought him - that Mary's pregnancy was the result, not of black sin but of bright righteousness. (Mt. 1:18 - 25)
At our house, we will wait until dark and go out into the darkness to carol. As our civilization is falling into ruin around us, we will sing the hope of a new world; a world which Christ will be building among His people.

Don't forget to leave a comment - especially about how you will celebrate how Christ is changing your world!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Redeeming the Time: Changing the World

This Sunday, you will not really be able to grasp the week's theme without reading the Scriptures from all the sectors: Old Testament, Psalms, Gospel and Epistle. So here they all are:
  • Old Testament: Isa. 13:6 - 13
  • Psalms: Ps. 103 & 98
  • Epistle: Heb. 12:18 - 29
  • Gospel: John 3:22 - 30
Just as it is difficult to imagine what the world was like before the Fall, so it is difficult for us to imagine the magnitude of the changes Jesus brought in His first coming. The Scriptures tell us that they were changes as fundamental as the changes wrought at the Fall, or the Flood.

Jesus Incarnate brings us a world and a relationship with God that is as different from the best that was possible before as night and day. And while the ruin of the old world falls around us, we find that not only are we unscathed, we are unshackled.

No longer do we fear the voice of the Lord. No longer are we shaken by His judgements on the wicked, because we possess and identify with the Word, the Rock that cannot be shaken. That is why this Sunday's theme is Joy.

So for Friday, consider these Scriptures, and ask yourself:
  • Where is the rubble falling in my life?
  • What evil have I been rescued from this year?
  • How will I joy in the freedom from sin and/or ignorance that these bring?
  • How has Jesus' identification with me in my flesh-bound existence changed my world?
  • How will I express this change, and my joy in it?

Come back Friday to share your ideas.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Paradise Tree

"I am the one holding the keys to the atmosphere in our home." ~ Terry Maxwell ~

Heavy drizzle hissed down on Susan's hood, as she hunched into the storm, hugging her books. She squinted up at the twiggy trees clutching their last seared leaves, and thought, "
They look starved. Like us."

"Would he be home? she wondered, or out wining and dining some new business prospect? Someone who would eat his food and cheat him out of his investment. I wonder what you can make out of cabbage and milk? Maybe he doesn't know.."

But she remembered yesterday as she had opened her music on the piano, she had heard her mother quietly asking Dad if there would be grocery money soon.
"Apples!" she had prayed, tasting the memory of tart crispness, "maybe we could have some apples."

"What do you want from me, woman?" Dad had bellowed, "All you care about is money!" He had slammed out of the house, as Susan had leaned into her scales to cover her shame and disappointment.

She paused at the front door, Christmas music seeped sweetly through. And something else. She pushed in. Gingerbread! The house was full of its rich brown aroma.

"Welcome home! How was your day?" smiled mother.
"Gingerbread! How?" "It's amazing what you can find at the back of cupboards and the bottom of bins! We'll even be able to take some to little old Mrs Richards. With carols. Like always."

The tension began to drain out of Susan's shoulders, as mother massaged them.

"Don't worry, little one. It is in the darkest times that we will really be able to see God." Mother turned Susan to the gathering twilight out the window. Behind them the stereo pealed, "Jehovah, hallelujah, the Lord will provide..." The stark tree branches twinkled in the streetlights, luxuriously stretching their limbs richly robed in ice.

Headlights shimmered to a stop in front of the house. Mother and daughter braced for what Dad might bring in. The doorbell rang. Mystified, Susan went to the door. No one was there. The headlights moved on.

"Apples!" she crowed, "Help me with these bags! It's apples!"

A Paradise Tree is one that bears fruit where none is looked for, as in Paradise the Tree of Life bears fruit the year round. This is one of the traditions that Christians mine in decorating Christmas trees. Come back tomorrow for Redeeming the Time, to meditate on next week's Advent Scriptures and to exchange ideas for making our times speak to us of God's great Gift.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Christmas Shopping as Ministry

If you are still Christmas shopping, consider making your holiday purchases from merchants that support family or Christian values. My journalism students have researched a series called Clear Conscience Christmas Shopping and posted it over at the Credo Chronicler.

The first article, Clear Conscience Christmas Shopping : Online analyzes online merchants according to their support for family values, listing dozens of merchants and products from airline tickets to online department stores. The second Clear ConscienceChristmas Shopping: Got Values? connects you to merchants whose products support Christian missions or provide an economy to oppressed peoples through Christian ministries. The final article Clear Conscience Christmas Shopping: You Had to Be There tells you what to expect when you shop at three major retailers which have a history of hostility to the Christ in Christmas.

Let's enrich the brothers in our celebrations, and make this a merry season for widows and orphans across the world as well as next door.

Redeeming the Time: Repenting

"Now will I sing to my well-beloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard..." (Isa 5:1)

This seems like a strange way to preface a parable about treachery and judgement. How is this parable a love song? I suggest that this is only the first step in the dance of Redemption, the opening bars of the song of intimacy.

How will we love our rescuer well, if we never notice that we need rescuing?

Israel had been given every advantage, every protection. God had showered upon her the blessings of a Law that penetrated to the heart of justice, a worship that called to the deeps of longing and shame and restoration, a promise of ultimate hope. But Israel had refused to take nourishment from this rain, had refused to use the freedom her protections had provided to bring the nations into the safety of the vineyard. She was half-dead already, but she didn't even know it.

So, before the last leaf fell, God removed the blessings and protections, exposing Israel's treachery and her danger, in order that the little live core could cry out to Him and struggle to live.

The parallel reading from the Gospel for the second Sunday of Advent is Luke 7:31 - 35. This is a snippet about John the Baptist, the forerunner whose job was to prepare the way among Israel for the coming of the Messiah. And it is Jesus' observation that those who rejected John also reject Him - even if they self-righteously make distinctions between their objections to both. Isn't it interesting that the preparation God deemed absolutely essential was a call to His own people to repent?

This is the secret love-song of the season. There is no intimacy with God without repentance. If we want to call for Him to come to us afresh, the first words He will heed from us are: "I'm sorry! Please help me!"

So this week, I'm going to set my household to a little Advent cleaning. We are going to venture into the fearful bowels of the laundry room to clear away the deadwood of things we have stored past their useful lives. And we will work in silence with instructions to consider what is deadwood in the fearful bowels of our hearts. And then there will be room for the Messiah to come.

"Let every heart prepare Him room!"

If you would like to prepare to celebrate Christmas proper with your family, order my Magi Treasure Hunt from Celebration Books & Gifts. Skip the after Christmas blues with this adventure study game for the whole family! Follow the Wise Men on a twelve-day treasure hunt through the Scriptures and your house. The Magi Treasure Hunt Celebration Kit includes: daily cut-out clues, Bible study questions for the whole family, reproducible Travel Logs for each family member, maps, history and culture notes, and more!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Redeeming the Time: Advent week 2

The coming week's readings center around Israel's betrayal of her training and privileges, and our need for repentance. Our Scripture for discussion this week is: Isa 5: 1-7
The Vineyard of the LORD Destroyed
1Let me sing for my beloved my love song concerning his vineyard: My beloved had a vineyard on a very fertile hill. 2He dug it and cleared it of stones, and planted it with choice vines; he built a watchtower in the midst of it, and hewed out a wine vat in it; and he looked for it to yield grapes, but it yielded wild grapes.

3And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem
and men of Judah,
judge between me and my vineyard.
4What more was there to do for my vineyard,
that I have not done in it?
When I looked for it to yield grapes,
why did it yield wild grapes?

5And now I will tell you
what I will do to my vineyard.
I will remove its hedge,
and it shall be devoured;[a]
I will break down its wall,
and it shall be trampled down.
6I will make it a waste;
it shall not be pruned or hoed,
and briers and thorns shall grow up;
I will also command the clouds
that they rain no rain upon it.

7For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts
is the house of Israel,
and the men of Judah
are his pleasant planting;
and he looked for justice,
but behold, bloodshed;[b]
for righteousness,
but behold, an outcry![c]


  1. Isaiah 5:5 Or grazed over; compare Exodus 22:5
  2. Isaiah 5:7 The Hebrew words for justice and bloodshed sound alike
  3. Isaiah 5:7 The Hebrew words for righteous and outcry sound alike
Come back on Friday to post your reflections on the Scripture passage and suggestions for entering into this theme in our Advent celebrations at home.

(Drawing can be found at scards as an e-card.)
(Bible quotation courtesy

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

He Still Comes

As part of our Advent celebrations, my family is reading aloud The End of the Spear, the account of how Jesus' coming to the Waodani people of the Amazon is transforming their culture.

Steve Saint, the son of one of the five missionaries killed by the Waodani in the Through Gates of Splendor massacre in the '50's, tells how his second-generation family was invited by the Waodani to help them learn how to interface with the modern world. Though Saint's style is unsentimental, the tale is incredibly moving.

I was struck with his concern to encourage the Waodani to take up responsibility for themselves and to take initiative to produce their own economy, to provide their own tribal leadership, etc. He walked the fine line of showing them the way and then getting out of the way, lest they become just another exploitable welfare-state waif tribe.

I found it very encouraging for times when I feel deserted by God, who could make everything alright for me. Isn't this what God is doing for us? He has shown us the way to holiness, to sanctification, to becomming more and more conformed to His image, and then He has left us with the subtle 'radio contact' of the Holy Spirit - so that we won't become Heaven's welfare cases. So that we will be able to take our places among the strong, shining ones we admire among His saints.

(I-TEC is the "Indigenous Peoples' Technology and Education Center", an organization creatied by Steve Saint and the Waodani to help other tribal peoples enter the 21st century without entering a slave-like dependency on first-world peoples.)

Monday, December 04, 2006

Foolish Virgins

"One response was given by the innkeeper when Mary and Joseph wanted to find a room where the Child could be born. The innkeeper was not hostile; he was not opposed to them, but his inn was crowded; his hands were full; his mind was preoccupied. This is the answer that millions are giving today. Like a Bethlehem innkeeper, they cannot find room for Christ. All the accommodations in their hearts are already taken up by other crowding interests. Their response is not atheism. It is not defiance. It is preoccupation and the feeling of being able to get on reasonably well without Christianity."
~ Billy Graham

Reflecting further on the first Advent reading, it becomes evident that the foolish virgins were a good illustration of the attitude Dr. Graham describes. Why did their lamps go out? Because they had no reserve of oil.

And why didn't they have extra oil for their lamps? Because they hadn't taken the time to seek out the oil merchant. They had thought they could get along reasonably well with the old supply, the cultural norm, whatever had been passed along to them by their parents. They never made preparation for testing or trials.

They weren't hostile to the Bridegroom; they were waiting outside the Feast chamber just like the Wise Virgins. They had simply never made a personal connection with the One who could keep their flame alive.

Traditionally, Advent is a time for contemplation, but today we have made it a time that is so crammed with busy-ness that we don't even have time for family devotions. No wonder we are able to be so indifferent to the appeal of Christmas, to the invitation to a deeper experience!

This season at least, I am determined to clear my schedule enough to take time for those reflections that will replenish my lamp, so that my soul will still flame up when Christ is near.

Check here tomorrow for Redeeming the Time, the Scriptural springboard for the coming week's Advent celebrations, and then post, link and/or comment on Friday to share ideas for making these spiritual realities the vibrant source of your family's festivities!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Redeeming the Time: Waiting

"And the Bridegroom tarried..." (Mt. 25:1-13)

Waiting. It feels so unproductive, so helpless, often so hopeless. And yet God arranges our lives to that waiting is a large part of what we are called to do.

In the parable of the Wise & Foolish Virgins, these ladies are asked to wait in the dark for an unspecified length of time right on the doorstep of the party. The only sure thing is that the Bridegoom will come.

And we have this in common with the saints before the Incarnation, that we do not know when exactly to expect the One for whom we long, but we are asked to wait in the dark until then. We wait not only for the final coming of the Lord, when He will finish all the work He has in hand here, but also we wait for those small, personal Advents when He dispels some darkness within each of our hearts and invites us to commune with Him in some fresh intimacy.

I do not know what darkness engulfs you: sickness, poverty, business failures, separations, persecutions, mental instability, worry over children...But I do know that God rarely removes these things quickly or easily. And I know that, in His sovereign omnipotence, He could. And that knowledge increases my darkness.

So what is it about waiting that God values so much that He leaves us to suffer in the dark for so long? Well, according to this parable, waiting separates those who will remain faithful through darkness from those who won't. Waiting reveals those who have a personal connection to the oil merchant, the flame-giver, the Spirit. Waiting causes us to take the initiative seek the Spirit before we are tested, to establish a relationship with Him that will sustain us through the longest night. Waiting increases our longing for deliverance, for the pleasures that are in Jesus' company, for the revelations that the blazing light at the feast will show and that our little lamp wicks teach us to expect.

This Advent, as we light the first lonely candle on our dark Advent wreath, we will read this parable and ask for the Spirit's full supply of the 'oil of gladness' that sustained Jesus through the darkness of His sojourn with us, and that will surely sustain us through whatever midnight we are asked to watch. And we will brainstorm together ways to nourish the little flames of hope and anticipation God gives us particularly in the areas of our lives where we find the deepest darkness.

And this week, we will have all our dinners together lit only by the light of that one Advent candle, as we speak of our longings for more closeness with the Bridegroom and of the foretastes of the Marriage Supper of the Lamb that we have seen that day.

Bon appetit! and keep your matches dry.


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