Skip to main content

some holy days and nights


this week we went out to get our christmas tree, a wonderful annual tradition that is no longer just something that shannon and i cherish, but something the boys love, too.  we argue about finding the "perfect" tree.  we take turns with the saw.  we yell "timber!" as it falls.  we go out to lunch.  then we take it home where the real work begins!


we carefully get out all of the ornaments, which might just be my favorite part of the whole day, and organize them into groups.  then we begin to hang them, after i have hung the lights, of course, which is sometimes peppered with some colorful language, but is always worth it in the end, for that beautiful glow the tree gives, reminding us all of the light of the world which this is all about, anyway.


after a great deal of work, it is finally finished, and it looks almost magical, at least to us, what with so many of our memories hanging there, telling the story of our lives together over the years.


once all the work is done (and often before), we have some tired boys, so we put on a Christmas special and get busy watching it!  this year they all put on santa hats (without us prompting them to!), and i just had to capture that moment.



i love this season.  i love all the traditions.  i love the Spirit of the whole thing.  i love the light and the warmth in the midst of the coming coldness, and early darkness.  i love the magic and mystery of it.  and the music.  and i love how it just brings something out of people: a kindness, a generosity, a kindled hope that just might be birthed into something amazing - something humble, but glorious all the same.  it certainly brings out some great creativity in our house, as you can see from the chalkboard below which shannon designed with the words of one of my favorite Christmas songs:


we have already been having some holy days and nights here in our house.  i pray the same for you this advent.

Comments

Emoly said…
As usual, Greg you have captured exactly what I love about this season. Your words are beautiful and they have lifted my spirits once again.

Popular posts from this blog

#thoughtsandprayers

i made these comments and prayed the following prayer at one of our worship services at SPWF yesterday, and had a few folks asked if i would post them, so there they are: 
It has been a season of terrible tragedy.  And I have noticed in the news a trending phrase: thoughts and prayers.  It even has its own hashtag on twitter and other social media, but net necessarily in a good way.  People are understandably tired of hearing about others’ thoughts and prayers, when that is only a thinly-veiled way of saying that our only obligation to those who suffer is a brief moment of silence, or nothing more than a tweet or public statement.  The truth is that, for those of us who follow Jesus, much is required when our neighbors suffer.  We are called to do justice where we can, to love kindness and mercy, and to walk with God through it all.  But let us be careful not to throw out the proverbial baby with the bathwater.  We are, as people of faith, those who know that prayer is not simply an em…

a divided tree

there is a tree in my back yard.  i'm pretty sure it's an oak tree.  at least that's what i think Shannon told me.  i don't know my oaks from my maples, my elms from my locusts.  to me, it's a tree: a corinthian column bursting up into life and glory.  full of sap and pulp and rings and bugs and cells pulsing with water and always reaching for something.  it is full of rhythm, reach and flourish then fall and die, and repeat. 

this particular tree, though, isn't of one mind. 

half of it's rusted orange leaves have given up their grip and surrendered -gracefully or not - to the pull of gravity and the threat of winter.  the north side of this inauspicious oak is just about bare naked, all sticks and straight lines, a skeleton of itself.  but the side that looks south is stubbornly resisting change.  no longer green, the leaves have compromised their summer vibrancy, but they are clearly not ready to concede death just yet. 

i feel like i can relate to this …

vote. and pray. but do not be afraid (the King is alive).

i'm not sure how many americans right now are feeling optimistic about the government.  i know i'm not.  in fact, while i didn't live through the civil war or anything, i have to think that faith in our elected leaders - indeed the whole system of electing them in the first place - is at one of its lowest points.  i just don't have a great deal of confidence in those individuals who have been elected, or in those who want to be.  i find myself slipping at times into what feels like a swamp of apathy: sinking, to be sure, but not sure that i care enough anymore to do much about it.  i see this attitude all around me: in conversations, on social media, and in popular culture.  perhaps there is no more clear indication of our nation's view of the government than this current election season, when we would teeter on electing liars and thieves, crooks and clowns. 

which is why i was so startled as i sat down to read psalm 72 this morning. as i read the ancient song, i…