Tag Archives: Nativity

My song today, is Mary’s song

The Visitation in the Book of Hours of the Duc...

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This is the season of ADVENT.
Today, I want to focus on Mary’s Song (also called the Magnificat) from Luke 1:46-55.

When I first read this, as a kid, I thought, “Wow, Mary’s getting all charismatic…” I wondered if she would be dancing, or waving her hands, or twirling a flag. Would Elizabeth be worrying about getting poked in the eye?

But today, I rejoice, because I see so much better that God provides. I notice that in this Spirit-filled moment of joy, Mary gets what God is all about. She realizes what God is like, and what he does for people. She comprehends that God remembers (mind you, this does not mean God recalls, like finding a lost memory, but this specific term “remember” connotes that God “keeps in the front of his mind”).

God helps the ignoble Mary’s of the world, and will pick them to play the big parts. [Probably the least likely to be important was an impoverished, young, teenaged girl, from a small hill billy mountain village in the Middle East, right?]

The Magnificat speaks to me personally today, because I feel blessed; and perhaps it will be meaningful for you today. 

I hope you share your thoughts with us today.
Thanks.

46“My soul glorifies the Lord 47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 48 for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, 49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me— holy is his name. 50 His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation. 51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. 52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. 53 He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty. 54 He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful 55 to Abraham and his descendants forever, just as he promised our ancestors.”

It seems God has a weak spot for the underdogs of the world.

Magi Star Gazing: (Jan & Feb) (Party Kit)

January Epiphanies cont.

Many of us don’t brave the cold in January and February to see the constellations.

In January, many people throughout the world celebrate the Visitation of the Magi, who followed a bright star to find the Christ Child. This extends the Christmas Season celebration.

Perhaps we could be more mindful of our surroundings, our place in the universe, and other January Epiphanies if we bundled up at least once during January or February, grabbed a blanket and some hot chocolate, coffee, or Irish coffee, and went out for 10-15 minutes of thoughtful star gazing on a clear night.

That is my challenge to you. But, why not make it a group venture, family activity, or a party? Maybe exchange home made presents or goodies, inexpensive but thoughtful gifts, or white elephant surprises, to Magi it up a bit. If you’d like to include related Scripture readings for your time, try Isaiah 60:3 and Matthew 2:1-12.

Below is a fantastic recipe for slow cooker hot chocolate, plus an image of a star map for January and February–for the Northern Hemisphere, (it’s most accurate during 9-10p.m. Eastern Standard Time.) For Southern Hemisphere, click here. Face in the proper direction, and find the star patterns from the map. Show or teach them to your friends, family, children, or youth group.

And please remember: If it’s cold, dress in layers, a hat, gloves, and warm coat.

Please ~ Let me know how it goes, okay?

Hot Chocolate Ingredients

  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 6 cups milk, (or 4 cups milk and 2 cups half and half)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 (12 ounce) package milk chocolate chips
  • Garnish:
  • Whipped cream 
  • (other options) Cinnamon, Coconut flakes, Sprinkles, marshmallows, marshmallow fluff, Candy canes

Directions

  1. Stir together the whipping cream, milk, vanilla, and chocolate chips in a slow cooker.
  2. Cover and cook on low for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally, until mixture is hot and chocolate chips are melted. Stir again before serving. Garnish with whipped cream or other  garnish, as desired.

If you try this recipe, use this map, or have a good time star gazing soon, I’d LOVE to hear about it. Who says the holidays are over?

Nah!

(Click here for another January Northern Hemisphere sky map resource)

Star Map for Northern Hemisphere (Jan & Feb)

Advent Meditation-Day Spring

Today, we’ll reflect on the arrival of Jesus as Day Spring. It is a strange visual for winter, and of course, Jesus was not actually born at the time of year when we celebrate his birth. But, the reminder of hope and new birth at the time of darkest night during the winter season is powerful indeed.

3rd verse of O come, O come, Emmanuel -written in the 12th century (in Latin). Translated into English by John Mason Neale in 1851.

O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer


Our spirits by Thine advent here


Disperse the gloomy clouds of night


And death’s dark shadows put to flight.


Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel


Shall come to thee, O Israel.

Please leave your comments, or thoughts. 

thank you for coming by. Happy Advent to you.

Worst Advent Season decoration ever

Season of Advent humor:

No, Advent Season is not about singing blonde, angels, dripping in messy candle wax. Creators of this decoration just had zero foresight. How weird is this?

What’s the worst Christmas time decoration you remember seeing?

Holidays-Thanksgiving and Advent November 26 & 29

I wish all of you a very special holiday season. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. This has always been my favorite holiday.

The other holiday I will celebrate lasts four weeks. It is called Advent. I will be focusing on the features of expectancy, waiting, hope, and longing as a precursor to joy, which culminates in the Nativity of Jesus. I’ll be going reflecting on the passages in the bible with respect to these themes. I’ll be praying about these elements in my own life, and their meaning personally and spiritually, and societally. 

The new Tyndale publication called Holy Bible: Mosaic, is a New Living Translation Bible with weekly reflections, and verses for the whole Christian calendar year, starting this Sunday, November 29th. To follow the community moving through these reflections together, and encountering God and this season of Advent, return here again to read more, and check out the Tyndale Mosaic site.

It was great to read the new rave review today at Mary’s World.