Saturday, December 01, 2007

Advent and Winter

We are getting a blast of cold air and some snow here in Michigan, and this day marks, or at least tomorrow, Sunday marks the beginning of the season called Advent.

I think the coldness of Winter along with the beginning of Advent is suggestive and can go together in our thinking, realizing at the same time that Christmas in other part of the world is celebrated in warm climates, even in Summer in the southern hemisphere.

Winter sends cold shivers up our spine, both physically, and for many of us, emotionally. It reminds me of my weakness as a human being; how I'm ever in need of shelter and clothing, and plenty of the latter. Advent is a season in which we remember the longing of Israel, and really the deep need of all humanity, for the coming of God's salvation, in a little baby boy. It is such a special season, filled with hope, anticipation and joy at what God did, is doing and is going to do in our lives and in this world. And it's a reminder that in Jesus the world's Winter will turn to Spring forever, as we're reminded so well in C.S. Lewis' great work: The Chronicles of Narnia.

I look forward to going through this, knowing that I have less and less times left to do it. I hope it is more special everytime for both myself and you.

What thoughts might you have on this?


Martin Stickland said...

It is getting a bit chilly round the willy here too Ted.

Must put those knitted knickers on!

Anonymous said...

i agree with is getting chilly here too. it is trying to snow here this morning! and that is unusual for the valley.
the last few days i have felt older. the knowledge of getting closer to death is with me when i wake up. i am also grateful for what i have and even feeling guilty for my waste. i have been getting the idea of the need to be more giving and sharing of what God is giving to me. i think that my joy is increased when i am more giving of what God wants for me to give. and i am fully aware that i could do more. and that is the battle for me, not to hold on and fold into my self, but instead fight to open up and share. maybe to put a little hope of spring into someone's winter.

God bless you, brother and your family. thank you for sharing.

Peter Davidson said...

Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. (2 Peter 3:18)

Come and see!

God bless.

Ted M. Gossard said...

I guess you folks do have Winter across the pond. We're getting some nasty snow (not gently dropping) at the moment and ice supposed to come later.

Yes, I have nice comfies on right now.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Yes, I'm not crazy about any extremes of temperature.

And yes, a good reminder for us this Season in God's Son that we in Jesus are to be giving what we so freely receive from God. And we need to be open to keep receiving from God and through others as we keep on giving; a circular, ongoing things.

Thanks, and the same to you and yours.

Ted M. Gossard said...

My dear friend, Peter (I ought to know your name by now). I invite you and others to read this.

Also if we can't recite this as our creed of faith, then we're neither reflecting Scripture nor the orthodox faith of the Church through the centuries:

We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father;
through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven,
was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary
and became truly human.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen

Allan R. Bevere said...


This post speaks to me in a special way. As I was driving the other night, I was reflecting upon Christmases past and thinking on where the years have gone.

I pray I have many more left, but at the same time, each Christmas season is becoming more and more special.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Amen, Allan. And thanks.

Real Live Preacher said...

Sadly, here in South Texas, it was hot and muggy on the first day of Advent. Boo!

Craver Vii said...

Linky-link! I hope to direct some traffic to your Advent posts, Ted.

I left a wise-crack about you at Martin's. ;-)

Later, Friend.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Real Live Preacher,
I can certainly believe that way down there in South Texas. I do remember being in Juarez across from El Paso one Winter when it snowed (or was cold enough to do so). But I don't think that's as far south as you are.

Sounds like you'd like to get more than a whiff of our air, and I'd love to trade some with you.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Thanks, Craver. Good thought over there at Martin's blog. I'll have to study that one out.

Andrew said...

Yeah, I'd have to agree with your Advent thoughts. Doesn't this longing for the warmth and light of dawn (Luke 1:78-79) in our dark, cold winter days even last all year--that is, the waiting for the greater coming of that final, glorious light (Isa. 60:19-20)?

Keep the Advent-themed posts coming.

The Walk said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Walk said...

It's quite cold here, too. Indoor recess for most of last week...

"Teach me to number my days..." I know that people my age--I'm 23--often tend to spend much of their time segregated into their own peer group. I suppose, to an extent, this is true for much of our society. Children are kept with children. Old ladies with old ladies. I wonder how much people miss out on as a result. I imagine that part of what 20-somethings lose is an awareness of their own mortality.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Thanks Andrew, and you're so right: it does. We need that light all year round in what is otherwise darkness. And it surely also is good to take time out for a special season to remember this great event.

Ted M. Gossard said...

The Walk,
Indoor recess. I still can remember some of those outdoor recesses we had in Ohio as kids, runny noses and running to keep warm. I do vaguely remember some recesses inside, but it had to be brutally cold as I recall, for us to do that. Sounds like fun as you get to teach- I'm sure along with plenty of challenges.

Naturally as we get older we have to face, more and more our own mortality. Just this morning I saw next to what is probably a small red birth mark a dark brown spot which raised concern. Betwneen my wife and I, we decided it's an age spot. First one I know of (here at age 51). Just another reminder of the importance of numbering our days, and how we're under God's just judgment as sinful human beings, even though redeemed in Jesus. We will die, unless Jesus returns before that.

So yes, I think the best scenario is mix of all ages. Better put, there should be ongoing practice of that, along with young people having good times with each other, etc.