Just A Piece of Paper?

Standard

We were in-town visiting my in-laws in mid-December. There was an appointment to take my mother-in-law to and preparations to be made for a family Christmas party a few days later. We sat down to a Costco dinner when I saw the slip of paper on the kitchen table. It would have been easy to miss in the menagerie of food, dishes, papers, and medicine bottles scattered in front of me.

It was just a slip of paper announcing an “Advent Spiral Walk” for that very night in less than an hour. The title caught my eye because I had never heard of an Advent Spiral Walk. I suggested that we check it out. My mother-in-law did not want to go if it was held outside in the cold. I wasn’t sure about driving in the dark in an unfamiliar town. Wouldn’t I rather just stay put and unwind in front of the television for the evening? Still, something tugged at me to go, if simply for the fact that it was nearby and free. Curiosity won out.

My in-laws’ church is small, but big on ideas for fresh ways to encounter Jesus. I didn’t know what to expect, but I felt twinges of excitement and anticipation. We entered the church and were greeted by angels. They were the human kind with white robes, tinsel halos and genuine smiles. An angel led us into the sanctuary decked out with greenery, red bows, and lit candles everywhere. A Christmas tree towered over us as the sentinel for the ceramic nativity scene. The Christ family was huddled together in the stable on one side of the room. The wise men were travelling from afar on the opposite side of the sanctuary.

The crowd was sparse as the pianist played Christmas carols and the audience sang along. It was the perfect atmosphere to be still and let the rich words of well-known and new-to-me Christmas songs settle deep in my soul. After a while, the angel invited us to the Advent Spiral Walk held in a different part of the church. We walked into a darkened room with the flicker of candlelight outlining the spiral and edges of the room.  Pine branches comprised the spiral and beckoned us in.

We were given an unlit candle to carry as we began our journey. The Advent Walk was designed to be savored, not rushed. Candlelight guided our path as our eyes, minds, and hearts were illuminated. Each step and each candle were a reminder that Jesus is the Light of the world and in the dark recesses of our hearts. In the center of the spiral, an angel lit our candles and instructed us to place our light on the path. Future spiral-walkers would follow our light just as we were guided by the light of others before us.

Just a slip of paper? My answer is no. That piece of paper was an invitation to remember the reason for the season. It was my permission slip to slow down and enjoy the moments leading up to Christmas. It was an opportunity to reflect and prepare my heart in the midst of a very busy month. The paper was a reminder to experience Christ as I celebrate Christmas.

Jesus’s light shouldn’t be obscured by the busyness, presents, baked goodies, cards, shopping, parties, and distractions of achieving that perfect Christmas. Jesus is the perfect gift and the perfect Christmas. Jesus is the Son of God who became flesh so we can personally receive God’s gift of extreme love.

Seek the light, be the light, and share the light this Christmas season!

John 8:12

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Acts 13:47

For this is what the Lord has commanded us: “‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’”

Psalm 119:105

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.

 

Advertisements

11 thoughts on “Just A Piece of Paper?

  1. A wonderful message Debbie and an uplifting experience with the Advent Walk.

    I will soon Post the Symbols of Christmas again, it is very True that what is in our heart is what is important not how others accept Christmas, Easter etc, God knows our Heart focus and that is what counts for Eternity.

    Christ- mas Love and Blessings – Anne.

    Like

  2. Anonymous

    Debbie,

    This was so beautiful. Exactly what we all need to hear as we are scurrying about, stressing out, and thinking only of what we have to do NOT what God has done. Thank you for blessing my heart.

    Sandy

    Like

    • Sandy… Your summary is perfect. It is not what we do, but rather what God has done. Thank you for taking the time to comment and encourage me! (As I write blog posts, I find that they are for me first. This one was a good reminder that I need more of Jesus in my Christmas preparation!)

      Like

    • Diana, The inspiration for this blog post was my personal “correction” for the holiday craziness that can ensnare us. Thanks for stopping by to read and comment. (How do you do it… engage with your many followers?!!! I am in awe!) Anyway, Happy New Year and what a great way to start out the year with your poem, “A New Earth.”

      Liked by 1 person

    • Carl… Good to hear from you again! You can google Advent Spiral or Winter Spiral and find plenty of information and examples. My in-laws’ church is small, but they keep trying new ways to reach more people from all walks of life. They exemplify that “quality” is more important than “quantity.” I know firsthand the impact the church had on me and I am grateful!

      Liked by 1 person

Thoughts on this post: share here!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s