L'Abri Journals...ACGray

Dec 2004
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Chalet L’Abri, December 2004

           Measuring My Days…acg


          I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.”
- Ebeneezer Scrooge, in Charles Dicken’s  A Christmas Carol


          “I am not alone at all, I thought. I was never alone at all. And that, of course, is the message of Christmas.   We are never alone.   Not when the night is darkest, the wind coldest, the world seemingly most indifferent. For this is still the time God chooses.”                                                                      -                                Taylor Caldwell


          “Whatever else be lost among the years, Let us keep Christmas still a shining thing: Whatever doubts assail us, or what fears, Let us hold close one day, remembering its poignant meaning for the hearts of men. Let us get back our childlike faith again. “

                             -Grace Noll Crowel


        A beautiful new teak copper-roofed bird station and feeder now sits less than ten yards from my study window.  I mounted it properly with a fifty pound bag of concrete poured into the ground at the base, then used a leveler at the station itself.  Brother, the builder par-excellence, would be proud of my efforts.  Now birds from miles around will come here to rendezvous, dine and gossip!

        Each year as the Advent season begins, I choose to ponder the Christmas story from the New Testament gospels Matthew, Luke, or John.  (Mark’s gospel omits the Advent and Incarnation stories.)  This year I chose John….with his uniquely familiar start…”In the beginning was the Word…” In my Interpreter’s Bible, I have underlined this exposition of Arthur John Gossip: 

     No book in literature has so breath-taking an opening as these stupendous findings on the life and character about to be described…It stirs strange feelings and emotions in us that surge up out of the deeps.  It creates an atmosphere in which one reads, awed and tense, and with held breath.  We know that we are face to face with something august, tremendous, illimitable  ….The Christ of the New Testament is a figure so magnific that whenever its writers think of Him or name Him, their minds instinctively bow down in reverence and worship.”

            John tells a story in chapter 4 of Jesus’ encounter with a woman at the well.  To her He says “…true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth.”  In his interpretation of this encounter Gossip writes:f this encounter, Gossip writes:

 “It is possible to know about Christ so well that, satisfied with that, we never come to know Him; possible to haunt the holy place, and bustle about its precincts, yet catch no vision of the Holy One….God with huge liberality in His heart and vast gifts in His hands, is searching for those who will accept them….The central fact in a time of worship is not that we are seeking God, but that He is seeking us.”

So in these early December days, I petition for the wisdom to comprehend the meaning of Christmas anew, reaching out toward this Babe of Bethlehem in prayer, thanksgiving, confession, and intercession with an eager heart yearning for my own encounter with Him, most surely in the marketplace, knowing that He is there, too, seeking me.          


Adeste Fideles!


          “And one could not, of course, conceive of Christmas without Him whose coming it commemorates:  the Prince of Peace, the Son of God, our Saviour and Redeemer, concerning whom we witness that He lives, from deep within the certainty of our souls.  ...”

                                   Richard L. Evans