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Savoring My Passage - the monthly journal of A. C. Gray

Christmas/December 2011

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A Christmas Tail
 
Titmouse and Chickadee was trying to give the cutest pose today


One beautiful season leaves, another begins here in our Shenandoah Valley.   I cut away the last dead vestiges of summer flowers in preparation for the mulch which will become the winter blanket over newly planted tulips, continuing a tradition I began when I lived at Springfield, again at Arbreux, and later at L’Abrix.   Together with the same gardening spirit of several neighbors, come spring we will watch with joy the return of new life to Bridgewater if we ourselves survive winter’s cold days! 

My preparations for Advent will be minimal.  Single electric candles in the three front windows, a Christmas wreath on the front door, and indoors, a tiny Yule tree.  This journal page will be mailed to twice the number of people who regularly read the print edition...sans the internet version....and with immense appreciation to all who have encouraged me in this hobby and “tradition “of sharing my thoughts and adventures for years, (and with apologies if and when my words may have been an imposition.)  Prompted by the admonitions of James S. Stewart to “proclaim the Incarnation”, everything about this journal page seeks to say “Gloria in Excelsis Deo”!

 

Snowy Snack

          

 

First Coming

He did not wait till the world was ready,

till men and nations were at peace.

He came when the Heavens were unsteady,

and prisoners cried out for release.

He did not wait for the perfect time.

He came when the need was deep and great.

He dined with sinners in all their grime,

turned water into wine. He did not wait

till hearts were pure. In joy He came

to a tarnished world of sin and doubt.

To a world like ours, of anguished shame

He came, and His Light would not go out.

He came to a world which did not mesh,

to heal its tangles, shield its scorn.

In the mystery of the Word made Flesh

the Maker of the stars was born.

We cannot wait till the world is sane

to raise our songs with joyful voice,

for to share our grief, to touch our pain,

He came with Love: Rejoice! Rejoice!

—Madeleine L’Engle

 

Bald Eagle

                                    

“It was a marvelous divine strategy that laid this Child, Immanuel, upon the doorstep of the world’s heart; and immense the responsibility of those who had to receive this gift into their midst.  The character of every man and nation, every society and culture, would stand revealed by their attitude to this new act of God.  It was indeed – though they might not realize it – the critical, decisive question: “What shall we do to the Child that shall be born?”  ....It is true that at the first Advent:  He came down to earth from heaven Who is God and Lord of all.  It is true that He bore my sins and yours in His own body on the tree.  It is true that death could not hold Him, and that He was resurrected by the power of God.  It is true that He is alive and out on all the roads of the world today, mighty to save.  It is true....that He can take our lives and interpenetrate them with His own, to enable us to say, “I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.”  It is true that one day we are going to see Him face to face without any veil at all....And then?  Why then, what does it matter whether life be long or short?  If it is to be a long day’s strenuous march, what joy, O Christ, to have Thy blessed companionship all the way!”  James S. Stewart, The Challenge of His Coming

Driving Squirrel?
Christmas Dinner