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December 7, 2011

A Holy light .....

I've always had a thing for lights ....
        basking in the summer sun, twinkling Christmas lights (I love turning off all the lights except the tree), driving around to look at Christmas lights,the friendly crackling glow of a campfire at night, the way the light in the desert can be blinding and wonderful all at once, candlelight shining softly, the glimmering dance of light on water, the shimmer of golden aspens or red maples when the light hits just right, snow glinting frostily in the sun, sunset when the sky is set aflame, starry nights when you can see the entire milky way (yes it is possible depending on where you live) .... {grey wintry days really do a number on my energy level,mood,etc if it lasts more than a day or so (living at Fort Lewis,WA was wonderful but I would buy a light box if we went back)}...

Today at Wives of Faith the blog carnival topic is "a favorite childhood Christmas memory" .... do you know how hard that is?! I mean really.... but  in thinking back one of my favorite memories is Midnight Mass at Tumacacori Mission in Arizona ....(here's a picture of the mission on a typical wintry day)

no I'm not Catholic but this is one of the things we did when I was growing up .... there was just something about the cold night air, the history of the mission (it was established in 1691), quiet greetings from friends and neighbors,  and waiting for all the bells to ring at midnight -- but what really did for me was the lights.....

     Luminarias to be exact -- such a simple thing, a brown paper sack with some sand and a candle inside, a common Christmas decoration in the Southwest (we usually put out several along our driveway or porch when I was growing up and my parents still do, Northern AZ University puts out over a million every Christmas all over campus ). It's amazing how something so simple can be transformed into something so beautiful ...



 (national parks traveler)

Yet isn't that how Christ is with us, even as we remember His birth and the purpose behind it at Christmas? That when we allow Him to come in and remake our lives, forgive our sins He can take the common, ordinary, dirty things of our life, the little we have to offer and make them into something beautiful ? .......

The soft, flickering, golden glow from the candles both inside and out of the mission was comforting against the shadows of the night , yet beautifully ethereal ... luminarias just mean home and Christmas to me now, the quiet of remembering what Christmas is really all about.

(We don't tend to do them here in KS as it's usually way to windy and the fake ones just don't look the same and I miss them, the simplicity and beauty!).

What memories make it Christmas for you?

1 comment:

Lisa said...

What a beautiful analogy and a very breathtaking picture. Thank you for sharing it.

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Thoughts

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." .... Jeremiah 29:11 (esv)