“The unfolding of your word gives light.” Psalm 119:130a
I’m tempted to label today’s post “Holiday decorating ideas,” but I don’t want this blog defined by crafting so much as by what our Advent decorating represents. A nicely decorated mantel is worthless unless it points the way to Bethlehem and the miracle waiting for us in the manger.
But I do have a lot of cool pictures today. Just wandering around with my camera, trying to capture the essence of Rebekah’s inimitable style.
Light and more light!
If I had a theme this Christmas then it would have to be light. Light is the key ingredient of photography and this year I feel especially drawn to images that capture light in a way that invites us in.
There are eleven photos in the montage below, but I’ll draw attention to three of them in the body of this post.
First (above), this year we made the move to LED lights on the tree. I love the crispness of the clean bright light. It brings out all the brilliance of the ornaments, much the same way God’s light not only illuminates us internally but helps us to shine too.
Rebekah put the tree in front of our amazingly vivid Peter Max painting. It’s bright and gaudy and over-the-top, yet somehow the colors all work.
She leaned toward some of the same elements in our tree. These strange color combinations are all pulled together by the overarching vision of the artist. Much the same way the umbrella, the canopy of God’s vision – God’s plan and purpose for creation – brings all of us together. Contradictory points of view, polar opposite political leanings, deeply conflicting beliefs when it comes to controversial social issues, preferred tastes in a thousand different areas… all this thrown together in one great community of love and mutual forbearance.
Our tree, gaudy and subtle at the same time, shining brightly under the banner of love.
Always, the star:
We may be able to count the manger scenes around our home but the stars, not a chance! They pinprick the night sky in a magnificent display of distant – and sometimes already past – evidence that Creation is complex and overwhelming and vast.
Each star is a sign, a light so powerful it represents unimaginable energy, yet the sum total of all the energy across 13.8 billion light-years of “understood” universe is but a fraction of the power and energy and creative impulse that is God.
Yet God still came (still comes), Emmanuel, to be with us in the helpless presence of a newborn child!
Wonder! Passion! Unimaginable (uncontainable) love – DEREK
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.