Take time, slow down…are you kidding?

Advent 1
Texture by Kim Klasson: Hello December 0212; 100% soft light

Christ is reborn in the Bethlehems of our homes and daily lives.
Take time, slow down, be still, be awake to the Divine Mystery
that looks so common and so ordinary yet is wondrously present.

~Edward Hayes

Slow down? Are you kidding? Don’t you realize Christmas is only 3 weeks away?! There’s shopping to do, gifts to wrap, cookies to bake, parties to prepare, programs to attend…..so much to do and so little time! The maddening rush seemingly crushing our holiday spirit.

Do you remember this time of year as a child? A time when the wonder of the season could be seen in our eyes? A time when there was a sense of mystery, excitement and anticipation in the air?

And then we grew up. We succumbed to the chaotic busyness of the season. Gone is the childlike wonder and excitement; the anticipation is replaced with deadlines and the fear of not providing the *perfect* Christmas experience for our family.

Which is the reason behind Advent. For Christians, Advent is the time when we (are supposed to) pause and reflect in quiet anticipation of the miracle that happened in Bethlehem…and what that means to our weary world.

And before we digress into the fact that Jesus was probably not actually born on December 25th, I just want to say….I know. Christmas in late December is a man-made holiday dating back to early fourth century Rome when Christians selected this time to coincide with the pagan winter solstice festivals. Ulterior motives aside, it actually is THE perfect time of year for such a celebration.

For many people, the end of December is when the days are the shortest, darkest and coldest. Gone are the glorious colors of spring, summer and fall…replaced with the stark emptiness of winter. And just as fire warms and brings light to the cold, dark days of winter, the powers of darkness were forever conquered by the seemingly common, ordinary occurrence of a baby’s birth 2,000+ years ago. A birth to an ordinary woman in an ordinary town…but under extraordinary circumstances.

Because with that birth, everything changed. With that birth, God the Son became incarnate and entered into the closest kind of relationship possible with his creation. Entering this world in the usual way, God’s Son experienced every emotional high and low known to mankind. He experienced hands-on knowledge of joy and happiness along with the devastation of sorrow, pain, fear and…ultimately….death. And because of this, his intimate relationship with creation continues to live to this day in the hearts of believers worldwide.

At the time of the year when everything is the darkest and blackest, Christians remember the coming of the light that dispels the darkness of life and brings peace. Advent does not replace all the chaotic busyness of our lives, but it is capable of instilling the wonder of Christmas back into our souls…if we will only take time, slow down, be still, be awake to the Divine Mystery that looks so common and so ordinary yet is wondrously present.

Linking up with Quotography, Texture Tuesday and Texture Twist.
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13 thoughts on “Take time, slow down…are you kidding?

  1. This year we have agreed “no gifts” (although I had already gotten some for the kids, but we’ll call them birthday gifts since both have had birthdays while they were across the oceans), and I am planning to decorate slowly, as I feel like it. I am not going for perfect – just comfortable so that we can enjoy one another’s company while the kids are here.

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  2. “Do you remember this time of year as a child? A time when the wonder of the season could be seen in our eyes? A time when there was a sense of mys­tery, excite­ment and antic­i­pa­tion in the air?”

    I sure do, Lisa! In fact, I’ve been reflecting on that lately. You’re right, this glorious holiday comes and goes so fast, that we often miss the meaning.

    I love how you said this…

    ” but it is capable of instilling the wonder of Christmas back into our souls…if we will only take time, slow down, be still, be awake to the Divine Mystery that looks so common and so ordi­nary yet is won­drously present.”

    Amen!

    Beautiful post, my friend. Beautiful!

    X

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  3. what a gorgeous photo and such a profound sentiment to go with it. And your post is compelling as well. It is a busy time but I still find myself as excited as when I was I child. I love giving presents to my grandchildren and children. They all live here so we get together on Christmas Eve, have a big dinner and then I get to watch them open them. The joy on their faces is a thing to look forward to. I do love Christmas.

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  4. I think the Church was wise putting the celebration of our Lord in the winter time. Grey skies can be a downer for people like me who struggle to remain optimistic. This is an exquisite shot, well done! I also like the quote very much.

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