Tuesday, November 22, 2005

A Special Place for Santa

A Special Place for Santa by Jeanne Pieper

Recently I had the opportunity to read this book. It was part of our “One Room” Church school study based on C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.

In The Lion, Father Christmas visits Narnia and we took the opportunity to look ahead to Christmas in our lives and the receipt of gifts.

A Special Place for Santa is based on a book from almost 30 years ago by Ray Gauer, Santa and the Christ Child. Both of these stories help us to bring together the two major symbols of Christmas – Jesus and Santa Claus. This narrative strengthens the connection by blending historical facts and imaginative legend in an interesting way that brings Santa Claus – St. Nicholas - to his knees before Jesus.

It kept the attention of both the children and the adults – drawing the children into the story while sparking lively discussion among the adults. Reactions to the story ranged from one child’s “Cool!” to an adults “It was interesting to discuss the connections and look at Christmas in another light.”

If you are looking for a holiday story to read to a special child, or even for your own return to Christmas simplicity, I highly recommend this book for inclusion in your Advent preparations.

- Sue S

Time: A Reflection by Jenny

A few months ago I turned 60. 60 seems so much older than 59 so time is on my mind a lot these days. When things are going well, it seems like my life is passing too fast. When things are not going well, it seems like the days will never end.

My oldest child is 40. His 14 year old son was born only yesterday. 32 years ago my husband and I planted tiny shrubs that seemed like they would never fill in the empty spaces around our newly purchased house. It’s now a jungle out there that we lost control of years ago.

There are days when I think about the past and agonize over what I feel was time wasted. Where did the time go?

I’ve begun to go to bed late and get up early. Sleep seems like time wasted even though I suspect that not getting enough sleep might age me faster. Scheduled tasks make time go fast. It seems as though I barely get a St. Margaret’s monthly finance report done when it’s time to do it again.

Do I want my life to pass so fast?

Several weeks ago we received the news that my sister-in-law’s mom died. That same week my sister-in-law found out a new grandchild is on the way….a message that time does not stop…keeps on moving forward.

3,000 years ago, King Solomon wrote: “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.”

Among his observations in Chapter 3 of Ecclesiastes:
“a time to be born and a time to die, a time to tear down and a time to build
a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.”

There are days when I want to be busy…there are also many days now when it’s enough to simply “be.”

When my grandson says he’s bored, I tell him to just relax and enjoy every minute of it. I know before I say it that he will roll his eyes at me in that “way” children do when they think an adult is being silly. But I say it anyway because I know there will come a day when he will cherish the time that passes slowly and might remember that his gram told him he would.

Time is a precious gift.

Let us pray:
Gracious God…keeper of our hours, days, weeks and years.
We thank you for the gift of time and pray that we may use it wisely.
Thy will be done for each of us in our own allotted time.

by Jenny W