Tag Archives: Christmas Season

The 12/14/13 Joy Jar

15 Dec

Today is well into the Christmas Season and as we enter the last couple of weeks before Christmas, it is good to reflect on the season. Daily Christian quotes have a great series of reflections about the Advent Season. Today’s deposit into the ‘Joy Jar’ is reflecting on Advent.

The event of Christ is the only event in human history that promises relocation and centering, meaning and purpose. This promise and its fulfillment evoke passionate and heartfelt praise and thanks, especially for those aware of their own brokenness and the healing which Christ brings into their lives.
Robert Webber

A prison cell, in which one waits, hopes… and is completely dependent on the fact that the door of freedom has to be opened from the outside, is not a bad picture of Advent.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer

One of the essential paradoxes of Advent: that while we wait for God, we are with God all along ,that while we need to be reassured of God’s arrival, or the arrival of our homecoming, we are already at home. While we wait, we have to trust, to have faith, but it is God’s grace that gives us that faith. As with all spiritual knowledge, two things are true, and equally true, at once. The mind can’t grasp paradox; it is the knowledge of the soul.
Michelle Blake

It is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas, when its mighty founder was a child himself.

Charles Dickens

In spite of the many benefits God has blessed us with, how many times do we complain about little difficulties and trials? We lose sight of the big picture and fail to appreciate the really important things. Just as we cannot benefit from a wrapped gift under a Christmas tree until we open it, so gratitude can be seen as our way of opening the gift of God’s love intended by all the small and big positive events of our lives.
Ronda De Sola Chervin

As we prepare for our traditional celebrations, let us remember those who will not be looking forward to this festival. Let us remember too how Jesus identified with the oppressed and the homeless. Let the joy of the festival touch more of the people of our world this year than ever before. May God be glorified and may people of good will once again experience His peace.
Denzil John

For the Christ-child who comes is the Master of all; No palace too great, no cottage too small.
Phillips Brooks

Often times when we think of becoming a Christian, we think of what it is doing for us – that we are reconciling in our relationship with our creator that we are having our sins forgiven, that we are being saved… I think that the call to receive Christ is more like Gabriel’s visit to Mary where he asks us, will you carry the Christ, will you carry the salvation of the world?
Mike Wilkins

The way to Christmas lies through an ancient gate….It is a little gate, child-high, child-wide, and there is a password: “Peace on earth to men of good will.” May you, this Christmas, become as a little child again and enter into His kingdom.
Angelo Patri

The spirit of Christmas needs to superseded by the Spirit of Christ. The spirit of Christmas is annual; the Spirit of Christ is eternal. The spirit of Christmas is sentimental; the Spirit of Christ is supernatural. The spirit of Christmas is a human product; the Spirit of Christ is a divine person. That makes all the difference in the world.
Stuart Briscoe

When the song of the angels is stilled,
when the star in the sky is gone,
when the kings and princes are home,
when the shepherds are back with the flocks,
then the work of Christmas begins:
to find the lost,
to heal those broken in spirit,
to feed the hungry,
to release the oppressed,
to rebuild the nations,
to bring peace among all peoples,
to make a little music with the heart…
And to radiate the Light of Christ,
every day, in every way, in all that we do and in all that we say.
Then the work of Christmas begins.
Howard Thurman

If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it. If He had a wallet, your photo would be in it. He sends you flowers every spring and a sunrise every morning. Whenever you want to talk, He’ll listen. He could live anywhere in the universe, and He chose your heart. What about the Christmas gift He sent you in Bethlehem; not to mention that Friday at Calvary.
Joe Gatuslao

Immanuel will bring lasting, true peace. (Isa 7:14) Not just an end to physical war, although that is what we usually think of when we think of peace. No, this is a deeper peace. A peace between us and God. True reconciliation between the Creator and his creatures. Through Immanuel life for us and his death for us we will be at peace with God. This isn’t our doing. We didn’t make the peace. We didn’t even take the first step. God did. Because that is God’s attitude toward us: always seeking, always restoring, always saving. Immanuel comes to show us that we matter, each and every one of us, to God. Jesus Christ, our Lord, and God’s Son, is Immanuel – God with us. Jesus was born a child and lived among us, died our death on the cross, all so that we would have peace with God, from this time forth and forever more. The zeal of the Lord of Hosts has done this.
Charles P St-Onge

When Christ entered our world, he didn’t come to brighten our Decembers, but to transform our lives.
Rich Miller
http://dailychristianquote.com/dcqchristmas2.html

For more information about Advent, The Season of Advent: Anticipation and Hope http://www.cresourcei.org/cyadvent.html

The 12/04/13 Joy Jar

5 Dec

Moi was walking through Seattle Center tonight. The City of Seattle describes Seattle Center:

First built for the 1962 World’s Fair, the 74 acre Seattle Center campus is located just north of downtown Seattle, and offers everyone a fairground, park, and arts and entertainment center all year round.
Journey skyward for a 360 degree view of Puget Sound from the Space Needle, hop on the Monorail for an elevated glide to downtown Seattle, or cavort in the shooting waters of the International Fountain.
Enjoy science and culture at the Pacific Science Center, sports and concerts at KeyArena, ballet and opera at McCaw Hall, world and classic film at SIFF Cinema, and exciting plays and events at the Seattle Repertory Theatre.
Other attractions include the shops and restaurants of the Center House, The Children’s Museum, the Experience Music Project and the Science Fiction Museum, and the Intiman Playhouse. Seattle Center hosts hundreds of festivals each year, including the music festival Bumbershoot, the Northwest Folklife Festival,… https://www.seattle.gov/tour/center.htm

Like most of downtown Seattle, Seattle Center has Christmas lights everywhere and that gives the Center a magical feel. Today’s deposit into the ‘Joy Jar’ are the Christmas lights which herald the Christmas season.

Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.
Norman Vincent Peale

There has been only one Christmas – the rest are anniversaries.
W.J. Cameron

“The whole of Paris was lit up. The tiny dancing flames had bespangled the sea of darkness from end to end of the horizon, and now, like millions of stars, they burned with a steady light in the serene summer night. There was no breath of wind to make them flicker as they hung there in space. They made the unseen city seem as vast as a firmament, reaching out into infinity.”
Émile Zola, Une page d’amour

The sincere friends of this world are as ship lights in the stormiest of nights.
Giotto di Bondone

There are dark shadows on the earth, but its lights are stronger in the contrast.
Charles Dickens

The light of lights looks always on the motive, not the deed, the shadow of shadows on the deed alone.
William Butler Yeats

A great attitude does much more than turn on the lights in our worlds; it seems to magically connect us to all sorts of serendipitous opportunities that were somehow absent before the change.
Earl Nightingale

I love Christmas, not just because of the presents but because of all the decorations and lights and the warmth of the season.
Ashley Tisdale

We say God and the imagination are one… How high that highest candle lights the dark.
Wallace Stevens

Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love!
Hamilton Wright Mabie

The 12/02/13 Joy Jar

1 Dec

Advent began yesterday on Sunday. Share Faith has a great explanation in What is Advent?

Prior to the Nativity Celebration of Christmas Day, Advent refers to the holy season of the Christian church which celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ. It begins on the Fourth Sunday before Christmas and ends on the 25th of December. As the commencement of the Christian year, the Advent Season holds a special place in the Christian tradition.
The History of Advent
The word “advent” comes from the Latin term for “coming,” and refers to the first and second Comings of Jesus Christ, in the senses of Savior and Judge, respectively. The first authoritative mention of Advent appears in the Synod of Lerida (AD 524), and the season has been recognized since as the beginning of the western ecclesiastical (church) year. The celebration originally began as a period of fasting, similar to Lent. Although the practice of abstention was later relaxed, Advent retains the spirit of atonement and penitence.
Advent Wreaths and Calendars
In western cultures, the four Sundays of Advent are often celebrated with Advent wreaths decorated with four candles. Made from evergreens, the circular wreaths symbolize eternal life and the endless nature of God’s love. Three of the candles are purple or blue while the fourth is typically rose-colored or pink.
One candle is lit each Sunday of the season. The rose-colored candle is lit on the third Sunday, which is considered to be a more festive day than the others. On Christmas Day, a fifth candle (known as the “Christ Candle” and often white in color) is lit in the center of the wreath, or may replace it altogether.
Advent calendars are also popular during the season. About 25 small compartments are created, often through the use of multiple sheets of cardboard or through sewn pockets. These are filled with seasonal messages, religious pictures, small chocolates, stories, or toys, depending upon the particular calendar.
Advent Traditions and Customs around the World
There are many ways Advent is celebrated. In English history, poor women would carry “Advent images” — two dolls dressed as Christ and the Virgin Mary. Upon showing these images to passersby, the women would be gifted with small amounts of money or trinkets. Failing to donate was considered bad luck.
In Normandy, children under 12 were sent through farmers’ fields with torches, setting fire to straw to drive off vermin. Italy supported the tradition of bagpipe players entering into Rome during the last days of the season. They played music before shrines of the Blessed Virgin, just as shepherds played pipes at the manger to honor the Messiah’s coming.
The Season of Advent remains one of the most important times of the Christian year. It celebrates the blessing of the birth of Christ, and reminds the faithful of his eventual return.
“A prison cell, in which one waits, hopes – and is completely dependent on the fact that the door of freedom has to be opened from the outside, is not a bad picture of Advent”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer quotes (German Lutheran Pastor and Theologian. His involvement in a plot to overthrow Adolf Hitler led to his imprisonment and execution. 1906-1945) http://www.sharefaith.com/guide/Christian-Holidays/advent_season.html

Today’s deposit into the ‘Joy Jar’ is the Advent Season.

Healthy Spirituality has some great insights about Advent:

“Advent, like its cousin Lent, is a season for prayer and reformation of our hearts. Since it comes at winter time, fire is a fitting sign to help us celebrate Advent…If Christ is to come more fully into our lives this Christmas, if God is to become really incarnate for us, then fire will have to be present in our prayer. Our worship and devotion will have to stoke the kind of fire in our souls that can truly change our hearts. Ours is a great responsibility not to waste this Advent time.”
Edward Hays, A Pilgrim’s Almanac

“The season of Advent means there is something on the horizon the likes of which we have never seen before… .What is possible is to not see it, to miss it, to turn just as it brushes past you. And you begin to grasp what it was you missed, like Moses in the cleft of the rock, watching God’s [back] fade in the distance. So stay. Sit. Linger. Tarry. Ponder. Wait. Behold. Wonder. There will be time enough for running. For rushing. For worrying. For pushing. For now, stay. Wait. Something is on the horizon.”
Jan L. Richardson, Night Visions: Searching the Shadows of Advent and Christmas

“You keep us waiting. You, the God of all time, Want us to wait. For the right time in which to discover Who we are, where we are to go, Who will be with us, and what we must do. So thank you … for the waiting time.”
John Bell, quoted in The Westminster Collection of Christian Prayers, compiled by Dorothy M. Stewart

“Christmas is fast approaching. And now that Christ has aroused our seasonal expectations, he’ll soon fulfill them all!”
St. Augustine, Sermon 51

“God is coming! God is coming! All the element we swim in, this existence, Echoes ahead the advent. God is coming! Can’t you feel it?”
Walter Wangerin, Jr., from “The Signs of the Times,” in The Manger Is Empty

“How can God stoop lower than to come and dwell with a poor humble soul? Which is more than if he had said, such a one should dwell with him; for a beggar to live at court is not so much as the king to dwell with him in his cottage.”
William Gurnall

“Advent: the time to listen for footsteps – you can’t hear footsteps when
you’re running yourself.”
Bill McKibben

“This Advent we look to the Wise Men to teach us where to focus our attention. We set our sights on things above, where God is. We draw closer to Jesus… When our Advent journey ends, and we reach the place where Jesus resides in Bethlehem, may we, like the Wise Men, fall on our knees and adore him as our true and only King.”
Mark Zimmermann in Our Advent Journey

“One of the essential paradoxes of Advent: that while we wait for God, we are with God all along ,that while we need to be reassured of God’s arrival, or the arrival of our homecoming, we are already at home. While we wait, we have to trust, to have faith, but it is God’s grace that gives us that faith. As with all spiritual knowledge, two things are true, and equally true, at once. The mind can’t grasp paradox; it is the knowledge of the soul.”
Michelle Blake, The Tentmaker

“Christmas has lost its meaning for us because we have lost the spirit of expectancy. We cannot prepare for an observance. We must prepare for an experience.”
Handel Brown

http://www.healthyspirituality.org/2009/12/advent-15-inspirational-quotes-about.html