December 13th, 2012

Advent Devotional by Pam Cochrane


A Time for Questioning!

Christmas is a mood, a quality, a symbol.  It is never merely a fact.  As a fact it is a date on the calendar – to believe it is the anniversary of an event in human history.  An individual may relate himself meaningfully to the fact or the event, but that would not be Christmas.

This quote by Howard Thurman is the theme of his book, “The Mood of Christmas & Other Celebrations.” Thurman calls us to look at the meaning of Christmas in our lives.

The mood of Christmas – what is it?  It is a quickening of the presence of other human beings into whose lives a precious part of one’s own has been released. It is a memory of other days when into one’s path an angel appeared spreading a halo over an ordinary moment or a commonplace event.  It is an iridescence of sheer delight that bathes one’s whole being with something more wonderful than words can ever tell. Of such is the mood of Christmas.

The quality of Christmas – what is it? It is the fullness with which fruit ripens, blossoms unfold into flowers, and live coals glow in the darkness.  It is the richness of vibrant colors, the calm purple of grapes, the exciting redness of tomatoes, the shimmering light on the noiseless stiring of a lake or sunset. It is the sense of plateau with a large rock behind which one way take temporary respite from winds that chill. Of such is the quality of Christmas.

The symbol of Christmas – what is it? It is a rainbow arched over the roof of the sky when the clouds are heavy with foreboding.  It is the cry of life in the new born babe when, forced from its mother’s nest, it claims its right to live. It is the brooding Presence of the Eternal Spirit making crooked paths straight, rough places smooth, tired hearts refreshed, dead hopes stir and newness of life.  It is the promise of tomorrow at the close of every day, the movement of life in defiance of death, and the assurance that love is sturdier that hate, that right is more confident than wrong, that good is more permanent the evil.

What is Christmas to you and your family?  As we enter this season of Advent we are invited to prepare a path for ourselves, what are our expectations?

We may choose to journey the same path we have traveled in years past, one which is known to us or we may venture into a new mood of discovery and wonder.

We ask questions, and as the story unfolds we ask ourselves, how will we tell the story?

How will you prepare?  With hope, peace, love and joy we will find our way!
Prayer…  Gracious God, you come to be with us in this world of need and worry.  Help us to look for you in all we do, and in the faces of others and welcome you everywhere.  Amen.