* The last and first lines of the first and third stanzas are based on the poem “Kyrie” by Tomas Transtromer as translated by Robert Hass.
Did you notice I did not post an Advent blog yesterday? Maybe, like me, you feel like the holiday season is the least peaceful time of your year. There are always places to go and people to see. Lists take longer than usual to complete. The events calendar is so filled, it appears black. Dark moods fill our cups of good cheer.
Herod had many dark moods. In the time of the Pax Romana, Herod’s paranoia became paramount. What did the star shining incessantly in the sky mean to him? His reaction to the Magi gives a glimpse. His actions shed light on his true character.
When compared to Herod, it is easy to feel wise. But, what about lacking personal peace in a season of desiring “peace on earth, goodwill to men.” What light does that shed on my character? “When King Herod heard this he was disturbed and all of Jerusalem with him.” The Magi saw the star and knew it meant a great king had been born. King Herod must have missed the star’s significance if he had to consult the chief priests about the Messiah’s birthplace.
I missed something yesterday: our family Advent reading. I was ordering Christmas cards and preparing for Christmas programs even as I was making dinner, getting kids here and there, helping them complete their schoolwork. But, missing this particular reading disturbs me.
Luke 2:1-20: The Birth of Jesus.
Poetic Reading: “Christmas Wonder,” “Stained Glass,” and “While Bethlehem Sleeps” (Shepherds…)
Family Reading: Bartholomew’s Passage –Week Two: Wednesday and Thursday
Through our reading, God’s light illuminated His story anew for me. Did it disturb Joseph and Mary to lay Immanuel in a manger? Didn’t the angels disturb the shepherds’ peaceful watch? What was it they said?
Glory to God, indeed, for His divine disturbance with His perfect peace!
From Him to me to you
1 Corinthians 13:1-8
New International Version (NIV)
13 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails.
…what remains the same.
Daniel 2:21-22 (NIV)
21 He changes times and seasons;
he deposes kings and raises up others.
He gives wisdom to the wise
and knowledge to the discerning.
22 He reveals deep and hidden things;
he knows what lies in darkness,
and light dwells with him.