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”!
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!
“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