Saturday, December 02, 2006

Advent Begins

Luke, Jacob, Caleb and I ventured to a nearby farm to cut down our Christmas tree today. We walked in many circles around the Balsam Firs until we finally agreed upon the tree that would be just right. Luke single-handedly carried it to the roof of the Suburban, only to have it fall off as we drove up the hill to get it baled. We concluded our Advent outing at a local diner where the four of us sat at the small diner counter and ate lunch. We have never sat at a diner counter before and we realized that it is hard to have a conversation when you only face a wall.

This evening the Parade of Lights wove through the streets of our small town. Local residents went to great efforts to make floats full of lights to greet the season. The festively lit streets and floats in this darkest time of year remind us of the Great Light of the World who came to bring clarity and hope to even our darkest moments.

The markedly cooler weather, the tree, the Parade of Lights, the shopping and familiar carols have certainly served to usher in a feeling that the Christmas season is really here.

Angels from the Realm of Glory
Words: James Montgomery, 1816

Angels from the realms of glory,
Wing your flight o’er all the earth;
Ye who sang creation's story
Now proclaim Messiah's birth.

Come and worship,
Come and worship,
Worship Christ,
The newborn King.

Shepherds, in the field abiding,
Watching over your flocks by night,
God with man is now residing;
Yonder shines the infant light:

Sages, leave your contemplations,
Brighter visions beam afar;
Seek the great Desire of nations;
Ye have seen His natal star.

Saints, before the altar bending,
Watching long in hope and fear;
Suddenly the Lord, descending,
In His temple shall appear.

Though an infant now we view Him,
He shall fill His Father's throne,
Gather all nations to Him;
Every knee shall then bow down:

All creation, join in praising
God, the Father, Spirit, Son,
Evermore your voices raising
To the eternal Three in One.