Happy New Story Month!!

Love and faithfulness meet together;
    righteousness and peace kiss each other.
 Faithfulness springs forth from the earth,
    and righteousness looks down from heaven.
 The Lord will indeed give what is good,
    and our land will yield its harvest.
 Righteousness goes before him
    and prepares the way for his steps.

Psalm 85:10-13

I mentioned in yesterday’s post how slow we have been here at Maul-Hall as regards to getting Christmas underway (“Light and Life to all he brings…”). But Sunday – the 2nd Sunday in Advent – did a lot to help to set things in motion.

Attending worship always makes a positive difference. In fact, I believe that trying to create anything approximating “The Christmas Spirit” outside of participation in a faith-based community is likely an exercise in futility.

If following Jesus isn’t front and center by the time you arrive at Christmas Eve, then your navigation has been way off, the camel train you were keeping up with can’t possibly have been the Magi, and – sadly – you were obviously following the wrong star!

So I raced from church to the airport, where I picked up my mother from her visit to Florida, then we spent the afternoon in front of a roaring fire, where we listened to some of our favorite Christmas songs and got started on the tree.

As I suggested yesterday, the theme is very much tied into the story of light. The first decorations I put on the tree were simply pieces of crystal, salvaged from an old chandelier. I love what crystal does to light, and for a moment I was tempted to ask Rebekah to leave off all the colorful ornaments and to designate this tree as exclusively glass and crystal.

The strategy might work aesthetically, but the way we do Christmas is all rooted in story. So, in a couple more days, our tree will be covered with stories and those stories will be as beautiful as refracted light.

As we go, I will share some of them with you. In My Heart I Carry A Star may be loaded with family narrative, but the awesome thing about “living like we mean it” is that new stories happen every day. The key is to pay attention and to listen to what they teach.

– on the roof (of course) this Sunday at the airport

So, not just “Happy Advent,” or “Happy December,” but “HAPPY NEW STORY MONTH!” My prayer is that we all live dynamic new adventures of faith and family and peace and joy.

In the light of God’s grace – DEREK


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