CS Lewis wrote the Narnia Chronicles in the 50s, having converted to Christianity in the late 20s. It is based on kids finding a mythical world in a wardrobe and overcoming their own fears in the progress of the story. It’s certainly a series worth reading. Many see the books as a Christian allegory, with Aslan as the Son of God.
Nothing actually says Christmas to me like the story of Aslan in Narnia. Aslan the lion who teaches the kids in the story about unselfish love and self sacrifice. The Lion gave up his life to save Edmund in the story, who had betrayed the Narnians and his siblings. By the death of the Lion, the boy was free to live and repent. It all ends well, the Lion is resurrected and the kids reign over Narnia which they freed from evil.
That’s the story of Christmas to me. Jesus came to this earth to teach us how to live with each other. Ultimately we betray and hurt each other, and in order to give us an opportunity to reconcile with the Father, Jesus gave up His life for us. The story starts of course with the babe Jesus, born in a manger.
Christmas is now past, but remembering Jesus is not just for Christmas. We remember his birth, but it’s worth to also look at His life and the lessons He teaches us daily. Maybe that would be a great way to start the new year 2021, which is almost here. To care for each other, to live in harmony with those around us and put our trust of these uncertain times in the life of Him who came to show us how to live.
Another year has passed. It’s less than 8 weeks to Christmas. The US presidential election is still undecided. And we are back in a total lockdown… events just keep unfolding, and time just keeps on flying. It certainly gives me time to reflect and think about all that is going on in this world.
As I write this, I can hear the family walking up the stairs singing. So sweet, they are bringing cards and little presents. Still I can’t shake the feeling this is just another one of those days of which many have passed already in the last 9 months. I don’t know why I struggle so much with this forced lockdown. Even though I rarely go out anyways, when someone tells you you can’t do something it feels just worse!
Since I have come back from the US I have volunteered at the One Vision (link below) where I can. Sorting food, clothes, refilling the store etc. And by doing so I am focused on others more than myself. With each foodcan I put down or plastic bag I fill I am reminded how blessed I truly am. N
I have no financial struggle, a warm house, and still the ability to enjoy another birthday! It sure puts things in prospective.
Melody and I are also about to attend our first virtual Christmas market with our handmade crochet items. You can find the (growing) collection on our Shopify page (https://tapandco.myshopify.com). This will be a totally new experience, thanks to the lockdown. A little reminder that Christmas is coming!
With that, I can truly say I am thankful. And blessed.
I would encourage you to find light in this dark tunnel. And find a listening ear if you are struggling. There are many wonderful support groups that can be reached, and many individuals who unselfishly give up their time to care for others. It provides a different prospective. And I am also very willing to be the listening ear, or be the other face on a zoom social. Just contact me and let me know.
A Time for Everything
1Everything that happens in this world happens at the time God chooses.
2He sets the time for birth and the time for death,
the time for planting and the time for pulling up,
3the time for killing and the time for healing,
the time for tearing down and the time for building.
4He sets the time for sorrow and the time for joy,
the time for mourning and the time for dancing,
5the time for making love and the time for not making love,
the time for kissing and the time for not kissing.
6He sets the time for finding and the time for losing,
the time for saving and the time for throwing away,
7the time for tearing and the time for mending,
the time for silence and the time for talk.
8He sets the time for love and the time for hate,
the time for war and the time for peace.
9What do we gain from all our work? 10I know the heavy burdens that God has laid on us. 11He has set the right time for everything. He has given us a desire to know the future, but never gives us the satisfaction of fully understanding what he does. 12So I realized that all we can do is to be happy and do the best we can while we are still alive. 13All of us should eat and drink and enjoy what we have worked for. It is God’s gift.
14I know that everything God does will last for ever. You can’t add anything to it or take anything away from it. And one thing God does is to make us stand in awe of him. 15Whatever happens or can happen has already happened before. God makes the same thing happen again and again.
There is something so magical about Scotland that it draws me year on year. Whenever there is opportunity, I want to go there. My favourite part is the Highlands, the remoteness, wild landscape. The chances of seeing wildlife, very few others.
This year we wanted to try a different part of Scotland, the Isle of Skye the destination. However, Christmas would be spend in the Highlands.
After the beautiful Candle service at Stanboroughpark Church, we set off to the north. After 4 hours we decided to stop at a service station and camp for the night. Our motorhome is self sufficient, and after spending the night we woke up Christmas morning, ready to go on to the Highlands. The goal was to find a spot in Glencoe to cook our Christmas meal, waking up to the beautiful mountains.
Spending Christmas in the beautiful scenery, surrounded by the mystical mountains, that’s the reminder for me of our God who created everything so perfect but then came to this earth to be able to restore the relationship between God and man which was destroyed due to our sinful nature. The mountains will burst into singing, according to Isaiah 55:12
Christmas has now come and gone. All I have as reminders are the little Christmas tree still on the table in the Motorhome and the many pictures I took and the assurance that I too can sing with joy about His Goodness.
It’s a few days before Christmas… although it does not really feel like it is. The media reminds me though, with advertisements for all sorts of things: last mailing dates, last shipping dates, last day to buy the turkey, sales of all sorts to motivate me to buy presents. And yet… it does not feel like it’s Christmas soon.
I am sad that so often Christ is taken out of Christmas. It’s a commercial transaction, which needs reminding as we don’t spend enough otherwise. But there is no reminding of the reason why we even celebrate Christmas.
Does Christmas still have the same meaning? Is it still the moment where we can remember that our Saviour was born on this earth with the purpose of showing us what real love is?
Churches put on special programs. Our own church has a beautiful Christmas Eve candle service, with music, singing and the Christmas story. For me that’s a highlight of remembrance. ( https://youtu.be/Zkj3lVQMlps ) On Facebook I see many other programs advertised, so there is plenty opportunity to celebrate.
Everyone has their own way of celebrating, and as such there are no right or wrong way. But for me, it’s important to take a few moments and really focus on the reason for the season. The love Jesus has shown us by going back to very humble beginnings, to be born as a helpless baby, and the purpose for His life are what I want to focus on. After all, it’s the prelude to the most important event in history: his death and resurrection, so we can live!
It’s nearly Christmas.. out of the busyness will be beauty, when I lit the candles on Christmas Eve….
Silent Night, Holy Night.. all is calm… all is bright
Maybe you have seen the adverts for L’Oréal. Usually some hair colouring adverts.. making us believe we are worth it to make ourselves look pretty.. Ofcourse we are…
Makes me think of Christmas. He came to earth as a baby, to live amongst us and to die for us, because we are worth it.
Personally I prefer that thought more than the one about hair colouring… He came down to this earth for me and you!
You can’t deny the reminders of Christmas are all around us… Melody and I spend an afternoon in London Hydepark at ‘winter wonderland’. Not too many reminders of the reason for this celebration there. Basically just a gigantic temporary amusement park. Even the little Christmas market was a lot smaller than it used to be. Still, the commerce is thriving before Christmas. Buying presents for those around us.. because they are worth it to us. (Below a few pictures of Hydepark)
These Christmas days I hope we all remember we are worth it to Him. He is the joy of our desire, came to make sure we would have a heavenly home to go to.
“Jesu, Joy Of Man’s Desiring” (feat. Lili Haydn)
Jesu, joy of man’s desiring
Holy wisdom, love most bright
Drawn by Thee, our souls aspiring
Soar to uncreated light
Word of God, our flesh that fashioned
With the fire of life impassioned
Striving still to truth unknown
Soaring, dying round Thy throne
It’s a week before Christmas.. well… almost anyways…the volume of people in the shops is a very big clue.. the Christmas music playing in every store… people frantically searching for the perfect presents for cousins once removed, or the distant aunt whom is only thought about cause her Christmas presents already arrived under the tree.
I love Christmas, don’t get me wrong. I love the lights, the thought of peace.. the tranquil spirit shown in every magazine and shop window…
However, as I sit here drinking a cup of tea I can’t help but remember that story about Jesus clearing out the temple because He disagrees with what His Fathers house should look like. Did He know 2000 years ago how commercialised Christmas has become and how the most important element to remember at Christmas is all but forgotten about? Am sure He is sad about that.
Jesus came to this world as a little baby, which we are privileged to remember at Christmas time. He did not stay a baby… he grew up and showed us unselfish love when He died on the cross… which we remember at Easter.
I wonder what would happen if we all slowed down and took the commercial aspects out of this period of the year. Would we truly have that Christmas atmosphere every song sings about?
I hope I will be better about it all this year… yes, am in a shopping mall, but I went to look at the fishes… they remind me about the verse in the Bible were it says ‘don’t worry about tomorrow’… I know those were birds.. but it’s winter, cold and the fishes were available to look at.
These last 10 days have been a real adventure… deciding in the morning which way to travel, or which campsite to let our motor home rest. The initial intention was to drive the total 500 route along the Scottish Highland coast. We managed a fair bit, am happy to report… but needed to turn back at Thurso due to the weather. We visited John O Groats, the most northern point in the British mainland. A couple years ago we visited Lands End, the most southern point. So we can now truly say we have driven the total length of Great Britain!
We loved spending time at Chanonry Point, searching for dolphins. We did see a seal, but the dolphins did not decide to appear for us. Nonetheless, we walked the beach there and found other treasures…. shells and sea glass… the area is breathtaking… I could be parked up there for hours with a nice cup of tea.
We have been truly blessed by the weather… we have seen snow, had a little rain, but had mostly sunshine… that was until last night when our stop happened to be near Carlisle, just outside Gretna, the Scottish bordertown. We did see the amber wind warning, but assumed we were going to be ok…. well, we were ok… but as the winds battered the caravan we were strategically parked behind, the whole motor home rocked… for most of the evening and night… not too much sleep for us all there!
That brings me to today… we have returned home… and even though I have truly loved our adventure, evenings playing Yahtzee, crochet or reading… this is my home… and I am very glad to be spending another night here before flying back to my Minnesota home. We have seen east (Scotland) and west (Scotland)…. but home truly is the best!
‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The first couple lines of a Christmas poem, which was played on the radio by one of the houses we went to have a look at… Christmas lights… a joy to go watch what other people do to decorate their houses… it was even synchronised to music which you could hear if you tuned in through the radio. Most houses were decorated to raise money for a good cause. One house stood out though.. their website said that their aim was to tell people about the good news of Christmas… a Saviour born, to restore the relationship between God and man.
Our favourite area was a neighbourhood in Plymouth, MN. The houses were beautiful even without the lights… but with the lights it was just magical… that’s what I really do love about Christmas… the cosy atmosphere these little twinkling lights bring to an area…
Are you a little twinkling light bringing good cheer to men? Or is this time of the year one of sadness and loneliness? Whatever it is, I hope you will find some comfort in the lights all around you, passing it on to others… knowing that The Light came to save us all.
Everyone probably knows the feeling…. suspense, nervous, excited, with anticipation…. something has been worth waiting for and is drawing near..
That is what I feel.. I have not been home in the UK since May this year, and in only 6 days I will be going home to visit. Am excited to see those things I hold dear, spend time with my family that I miss. Making new memories along the way.
Am also a little nervous. Will my cats remember me? Will my home still feel like my home? Will I be ok to leave again after the holidays?
Having been travelling between the US and the UK extensively, I have truly had the best of both worlds…when in the UK I miss the US and vice versa. And yet… the UK is my home. Or is it?
What are you waiting for? Are you waiting for the Christmas period to end so all can get back to normal? Are you looking forward to spending Christmas with loved ones? Are you eagerly anticipating the presents you will receive? You are not alone….
Know that your biggest gift is freely given. And all you need to do is to accept it. Christmas is a reminder of Gods love for us, and He is waiting eagerly for you to be with Him.
Maybe that is what waiting is about? Anticipation to be reconnected?
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