waiting for Christmas

As newlyweds, we’d spent our money on the wedding and honeymoon so our budget was limited. We found an artificial tree on sale and put it up together. I had a few simple ornaments I had made in years past which we used to decorate the branches. We had no gifts under the tree but were happy celebrating our first Christmas together.

When our sons were little boys, they could hardly wait for St. Nick’s Day when we’d open our stockings…what gifts would be inside?  I hung them high, out of reach from eager eyes and curious fingers. Our neighbor bought the boys each an Advent calendar. They opened a window every day to find a little chocolate treat inside; counting down the days until Christmas.

Now that we’re older, we enjoy the waiting…listening to music, looking at light displays, attending grandchildren’s programs. The season of Advent is a special time of holiday concerts and worship services, culminating in the celebration of Christmas Day. We don’t really need any gifts except the presence of Emmanuel, God with us.

anticipation

waiting for return of king

our advent journey

 

_______

 

A traditional haiku refers to a season and nature so here’s another…

 

small creatures waiting

under snow’s winter mantle

for coming of spring

 

 

Linking to Imelda’s haibun prompt of “waiting” at dVerse Poets Pub

 

 

 

 

an invitation…for crying out loud!

A voice crying in the wilderness, make straight a highway for our God! 

What shall I cry?
Come all you faithful:
young and old
rich and poor,
black and white
Come, let us adore him
on this holy night.

Prophets cry:
Woe to sinners
everywhere; our
guilty hearts despair.
But do not fear, for
heaven’s hope draws near!

The virgin cries
with urgent pain,
birthing firstborn
on straw’s bloodstain;
Do not be afraid,
love’s sacrifice is paid!

Host of angels cry:
God’s good will
on earth to men!
Fear not, they say,
Prince of our peace
brings shalom today!

Shepherds cry:
choose good news!
Messiah’s here,
in swaddling bound.
Worship, unafraid,
spread joy around!

God’s star shines fierce
searchlight to pierce
through darkest times
O Holy night
advent of Light,
we celebrate this night divine!


I had the privilege of writing and reading this for our Christmas Eve candlelight worship. May God bless us, every one…Merry Christmas to all!

 

white Christmas (lite)

 

blanc fluff dusts tips of

evergreen branches; softens

brittle spikes of frozen grass

unanticipated love

Holiday haibun (prose exactly 200 words, Frank!) for dVerse “surprise” prompt

 

Christmas is a season of surprises. It began with virgin birth of a king in a cave, marked by a magnificent star. An angel choir sent musical birth announcements. Visitors included local shepherds fresh from the fields and, later, foreign scholars bearing tokens of wealth. The gifts were unusual for a baby shower but signified the child’s future rule, life’s sacrifice, and atoning death.

We celebrate Christmas with surprises hung in stockings, wrapped in packages under trees, bright lights to see and sweet treats to eat. It’s fun to delight someone we love with a gift that “fits” them perfectly. Guests may appear unexpectedly like changeable weather that alternates between merry and dreadful. Mistletoe, moods and mayhem can take us by surprise during the holy (holly) days.

The best surprises are little moments of unanticipated kindness during this season of good cheer. “Adopted” grandparents (now deceased) give children candy advent calendars with a window treat for each day of December. A busy mom who delivers a plate of homemade goodies with her children. A hearty hug and teary smile from an elderly relative in a senior center. A neighbor boy who leaves greeting card and his artwork in a mailbox.

 

stories of Christmas

wrapped with shiny memories

love surprises us

Christmas reading

 
Light a candle on this Christmas Day

We watch with eyes wide open.

What does a shepherd know of Light?

Messiah behold

Let all nations be told

All:  The Christ child has given us LIGHT!
 

candle_png7279

winter rose

(Listen to choir recording here…with lyrics)


 

haunting winter hymn

lo, how a rose e’er blooming

flute plays minor key

 

cam00009

photo copyright: kanzensakura            (used with permission)

This  traditional Christmas carol sings a haunting melody, particularly when breathed through a flute. The flowing hymn hearkens back to Cologne, Germany in the 16th century during an evening snowfall. A high Renaissance tune which switches from solemnity to dance-like quality and back again, in half-frozen syncopation.

Originally sung in adoration of the virgin’s purity, Lutherans (ever reforming!) later tweaked the words to change its focus to Jesus Christ. As the hope of Israel, he fulfills the prophecies of Isaiah, appearing as the Branch, a stem from Jesse’s root, and the Rose of Sharon.

 

A rose in winter…totally unexpected and glorious!


 

Thanks to Toni for hosting the haibun prompt at dVerse and sharing the lovely photo of her mature quince tree blooming prematurely.

 

 

follow the light

 

light of the

IMG_8748

photo by lynn

world shines

in baby’s eyes

 

happy flame of

solitary oil lamp

flickers from barn

 

starlight burns

unusual brightness

above sleeping village

 

angelic aether

outshines campfire

of blinded shepherds

 

holy spark

igniting faith fire

in heart’s cold hearth

 

For God, who said,”Let light shine out of darkness”, has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.                                                                   2 Corinthians 4:6

 

Xmas on the street

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year” NOT for abandoned orphans.

If teenage Mary showed preggo today…who would suggest abortion??

Herod’s power trip doesn’t prevent wise guys from following bright star.

They say he was born in a barn and “nothing good comes from Nazareth”.

Crown prince volunteers to pay ransom for poor peasants; yeah, that’s rad love.

Comfort my people!  Old Simeon says,  “I’m so happy, I could die.”

Dream angel’s good news to honest Joe: “Marry Mary…Merry Christmas!”

-scene from movie “The Nativity Story”