I think if I am honest it seems so incongruent to be gearing up for Christmas with so much suffering and turmoil in the world. I know I am not alone in feeling overwhelmed with how such an unimaginable tragedy could have happen in Newtown Connecticut. Over the past days I have thought a lot about how those family must be feeling and how time continues to move forward while their lives have stopped with grief and sorrow.
Sunday, December 16
On Sunday my family had been scheduled to light the advent candle during the worship service. The odd thing is that in all the years we have attended (over 20 years) we have never done the Advent Candle. It really is a very simple, lighting a few candles and leading the morning liturgy. However as we all gathered for worship, as is often the case after such a terrible tragedy there was a definite somberness over the entire congregation.
The alter was lined with Prayer Blankets that were destine for Newtown. Throughout the worship service the alter was packed with people kneeling to pray over the blankets before they were packed up and shipped.
As I read over the liturgy it began to wash over me. We were going to be lighting the third candle of Advent. The Candle of Joy. My heart began to beat in a way that always tells me that the Holy Spirit is working. It is a cross between a panicked fluttered and overwhelming emotional surge.
We were about to light the candle of joy when for so many in Newtown have had their joy taken away and were steeped in sorrow and grief.
As I read this liturgy I had a human moment where I thought I was not going to be able to actually speak the words as my heart welled up with the reality of what we were doing. I took a deep breath and said a quiet internal prayer, asked God to fill me up and simply take over for my human weakness and let the moment just full up the sanctuary.
This was our morning Advent Liturgy…
Leader: God is making the final preparations for an amazing thing! Now is the Advent of the long-awaited Messiah, our bringer of hope, our Prince of Peace, our leader of joy.
People: We wait, we prepare, we make straight the way.
Leader: We celebrate the coming of Christ with the lighting of the Advent candles.
People: We are a people of hope, a people of peace, a people of joy.
Leader: At first there was the frail light of a single candle of hope, daring to pierce through the darkness of despair and sin,
People: Then there was the candle of peace, the gentle and persistent fire, the one that calls out the violent forces and lets in God’s deep and tranquil Spirit.
Leader: Today we light the candle of joy. Our joy is in God and in his son, Jesus Christ. Like peace, joy is a gift from God. It overtakes us and fills us when we remember what God has done and what he has promised to do.
People: We light this candle today to remind us that Christ came, and is coming, so that all people might have a rich and abundant life.
Leader: We thank God for the hope he gives us, for the peace he bestows, and for the joy he pours into our hearts.
As we returned to our seat it was clear that God could feel our pain and understood that even though we all know that the Joy of Christ is perfect, we live in a sinful and evil filled world.
Our pastor shared with us that “Joy is not the absence of suffering, Joy is the presence of Christ.”
Tuesday, December 18
It was a half day for the Girlchild so I was a good mom and went to pick her up after she finished her tests. At our town square the flag has been flying at half mast in honor of Newtown. It was a beautiful day, the sky was so blue, the wind was really kicking up and the flag was standing at attention so I pulled the car over and got out and snapped a few pictures.
Muffinhead always insists on a spa day when she has her Aunt Girlchilds undivided attention. Confession: I love watching them together! The Girlchild is going to be an awesome mom one day!
I shared this picture with all my FB pals. Muffinhead reminds me so much of her daddy. She plays like he did and has a wonderful imagination. She decided that not only did Barbie and Ken need to take a ride in the Jeep but baby Jesus, Joseph, Mary, the Wise Men, all the stable animals and Elmo all needed to go along for the ride as well!
We ended the evening at a new to us pizza place. It actually been there for a very long time but we have never been there. I am so glad that we did. The food was AWESOME! It will be on our list of close by great places to eat from now on! The only problem, it is right across the parking lot from our favorite Mexican place, now we will have to toss a coin!
Wednesday, December 19
Thank You Jesus, I finished up the last of my shopping today!
Saturday, December 22
I was semi happy with how this soup bowl came out. It was an oatmeal kind of morning so I decide to give my new bowl a trial run. I have made a few mental notes for a few design changes for my next round of soup bowls, but overall I was happy with the results.
Well that’s it for my week. I know if you are like me that you are trying to find some peace and some sense of why after something so horrible happens in our country. I keep returning to the steadfast truth that even though I do not understand that God has all things well at hand. I also know that His heart is grieving beyond our human comprehension for what has happen as well.
Life goes on even thought it at time feels like it should stop.
That sound like a lead in for an end of the world commentary….but sine we are all still here I think I will just say…
Matthew 24:3636 “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son,[a] but only the Father.
For more P365 y’all head over to Sara’s and link up.
In closing our wonderful host of P365 mentioned that she is not going to be doing
Project 365 in the future. I am considering taking it over. Let me know your thoughts. Are you wanting to continue to participate? Leave me a comment and let me know. If there is still a desire to continue in this lovely pictorial party let me know what you guys think!