I love the way our house transitions from ordinary to light filled this time of year. We spent the weekend decking the halls, as they say. Golden pears and pomegranates glow with twinkle lights and garland, rosy red Christmas plates and coffee mugs fill glass kitchen cabinets, and our jewel toned, felt nativity set greets visitors on the entry hall table. All but the tree, we’ll make the trip to the farm next weekend for that, has returned to it’s place for the season.
And the favorite of all? The village.
The Christmas village replaces books on the shelves of our antique library cabinet illuminating scenes from a by-gone era. The Littles press into the glass, leaving imprints of noses and chins as they peer into the past watching vignettes of skaters, carolers, and chestnut roasters. I wonder what stories they imagine. Our hearts long with nostalgia for a place in time we’ve never been.
As our homes transition from ordinary, so must our hearts. Yesterday was the last Sunday of the church year, Christ the King Sunday. The liturgical clock will reset next Sunday ending the long period of Ordinary Time as we begin the season of Advent.
The church year is divided into threes—Advent, Lent and Ordinary Time. We are entering the most expectant time of the year, which also flows into three parts—Advent, Christmastime and Epiphany. It’s a time of expectant hope as we celebrate Emmanuel, God with Us, and look forward to the day of his return.
We cozy up gazing at lights, but what our hearts really long for can only be filled by the light of the world. In anticipation of Advent next Sunday, I have my favorite book of the season God With Us. This will be my third year to read from the daily devotionals (fourth time through if you count when I read it this July!) of this glorious anthology of art and essays by some of my favorite authors and theologians, including Eugene Peterson and Luci Shaw.
If you are looking for a way to fully engage in the season and rediscover the meaning of Christmas, consider spending time savoring these daily readings. And, if you do let me hear from you. Wouldn’t it be fun to share this time together?