Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Bridge from Advent to Christmas

Long ago, I read Sarah Ban Breathnach's Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy. Even though some of the book is a bit schmaltzy, overall, it moved me profoundly. Her entry for December 25 included a quote she found on a Michael Podesta print:

"If, as Herod, we fill our lives with things, and again with things, if we consider ourselves so unimportant that we must fill every moment of our lives with action, when will we have time to make the long, slow journey across the desert as did the Magi? Or sit and watch the stars as did the Shepherds? Or brood over the coming of the child as did Mary? For each one of us there is a desert to travel, a star to discover, and a being within ourselves to bring to life."

For me, this quote is a perfect bridge from Advent to Christmas. If you're like lots of church folks, your Christmas Eve is just one more busy day in the pre-Christmas season. This quote reminds us of the importance of contemplation, of slowing down, of thinking about what we're really celebrating here in the winter darkness.

If you want to see the original print, go here. You might explore the rest of the site. Michael Podesta has been one of my favorite calligraphers/graphic designers for a long time. In 1987, when I graduated with my B.A. degree, my parents gave me the print with the Emerson quote that says, "Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."

Michael Podesta has a lot of inspiring material, some of it Biblically based, some of it not. All of it is beautifully done.

But I digress--back to Christmas Eve.

We have lived in great darkness. We are ready for the light to shine. Tonight is the time to light candles, to sing loudly, to welcome the stranger who just might the savior. May we all have a blessed Christmastide.

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