BBC News: Tourists take Edinburgh street beggar to Sweden for Christmas

What a beautiful act of hospitality–something to help us remember that there are good people all around us. (As I write this in Uncle Harry’s Bagelry, I realize the person next to me is buying breakfast for someone of lesser means.) My heart is encouraged. I hope yours is to. Let’s pray that we see who God has for us to love this New Year.

Tourists take Edinburgh street beggar to Sweden for Christmas – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-38468558

A King Upon the Field

Gerrit Van Honthorst ( 1592 – 1656)

A King Upon the Field

At last! At last! A king upon the field!

That lay four thousand years without her Sun,

And groaning bore the necessary days

Until her longed for Sovereign be revealed.

At hand! At hand! A kingdom is at hand!

For all who are as orphans in the world,

Now brought from east and west with such a call

Which powers of hell can never countermand.

Awake! Awake! O sleeper, to His light,

Your heart of stone turned flesh beats full of life,

Once dying yet now living bend the knee

And pledge your King your love, your life, your might.

                                                                                                              –Elizabeth Bridges Hiett

 “Angels We Have Heard on High (Christmas w/ 32 fingers and 8 thumbs) – OR “What happens when you leave 4 men together with a piano” :D

The 4th week of Advent is here! The 4th candle is known as the Angel Candle or the Love Candle. May God bless you with His joy as Christmas Day draws closer!

I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord” ~ Luke 2:10b-11

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” ~ John 3:16-17

Article: How To Make Gingerbread Cookies

‘Tis the season for all things yummy. Few things are more iconic to Christmas than gingerbread. It doesn’t take anything more than some dough, frosting and an assortment of candies to dazzle little eyes and gather young and old together to build or decorate all manner of fun shapes and structures.

Here’s to rejoicing in all the happy moments Christmas can bring!

How To Make Gingerbread Cookies

http://flip.it/R.HKuK

The “Gaudete” or Joy Candle

Who knew that Philippians 4: 4-6 could sound so beautiful in song? The third Sunday in advent is known as Gaudete Sunday–named after the first Latin word in the service:

Gaudete in Domino semper: iterum dico, gaudete. Modestia vestra nota sit omnibus hominibus: Dominus enim prope est. Nihil solliciti sitis: sed in omni oratione et obsecratione cum gratiarum actione petitiones vestræ innotescant apud Deum. Benedixisti Domine terram tuam: avertisti captivitatem Jacob.

Translated:

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice. Let your forbearance be known to all, for the Lord is near at hand; have no anxiety about anything, but in all things, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God. Lord, you have blessed your land; you have turned away the captivity of Jacob.” Philippians 4:4–6; Psalm 85 (84):1

The Gaudete Carol is an ancient one, dating back to at least the 16th century. May we rejoice, as Paul says to in Philippians, in Christ and all His gifts to us this season!

The Bethlehem Candle

On the second Sunday of Advent the second candle of five is lit. In many churches, this is considered the Bethlehem candle. We remember that long before Jesus Christ was born, the humble town of Bethlehem was promised to be the birthplace of a great king–in fact, the King of Kings.

“But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.” Micah 5:2

All you need to start your own family’s celebration is five candles (some people do four). It’s really that simple. How you arrange the candles or decorate them is entirely up to you. Our family’s advent “wreath” has changed over the years but has always been some kind of grouping of the five candles, usually in a circle. Before kids, we used tapers but later with toddlers around votive candles seemed a MUCH better idea.

After years of having the candles in circle formation, I found a darling candle holder at a shop which has five votive holders in line formation which takes up less table space. This year I have flameless candles, which I like because I can “burn” them all evening.

So the basic idea is to light one candle on each of the four Sundays leading up to Christmas Day. On the first Sunday you would have one candle burning. The second Sunday two of the five would be burning and so forth. The fifth candle is for Christmas Eve, which we like to light after Christmas Eve service. In the days after Christmas, it is fun to have all five burning at the same time.

You may notice that many candles especially marketed for Advent are purple and pink. Those colors originated in order to match the vestments of Roman Catholic priests during the weeks leading up to Christmas. Don’t stress about the color, though. The main thing is to remember different parts of the Christmas story as the day approaches.

Hopefully, your church will have a list of Advent Scripture readings that you can refer to as the days go by.

Did you miss a week? Or even more? Don’t worry. Just grab some candles and go!

EBH