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Thursday, December 04, 2014


The lower-station families at Kijabe have started a tradition of a half-hour evening Advent activity, for as many nights in the month as there are willing hosts.  The first was at our house tonight, and our theme was the Glory of the LORD Shall be Revealed, from Isaiah 40 and the Messiah.

We read scriptures from Exodus 24 and 40, 2 Chronicles 7, Luke 2, and Revelation 21, as the kids drew a timeline with symbolic pictures for each place where God's glory was seen.  The mountaintop of Sinai, in clouds and thunder.  The tabernacle and then the temple, in bright shining dense light, overwhelming, driving out the celebrants, a presence by day and night.  The angel host startling the shepherds, announcing God's glory encased in a baby in a manger.  And then the final repository of glory, revealed to all flesh:  the City of God, the New Jerusalem, where precious gems glisten from walls and all is light.  All of these manifestations of glory were irrefutable to the observers.  Anyone present could see them, and they left no ambiguity, no doubt.

But I had the kids leave a space between the Luke 2 angel chorus and the Revelation city.

The space we live in now.

Where glory is obscure.  Hidden.  Not overwhelmingly obvious to all flesh.

Then we read one of my FAVORITE Christmas books, Papa Panov's Special Day.  In this story Leo Tolstoy tells of a humble shoemaker, and in his age and loneliness one Christmas Eve he hears a voice telling him that Jesus will visit the next day.  He looks eagerly for Jesus in all the people on the street, and in his impatience to find Him the cobbler is reluctant to invite the cold and poor street-sweeper in for soup, or the ostracized single mother begging for rent.  But as Christmas day ends, his disappointment in not seeing Jesus is transformed to peace when he realizes that Jesus exists in the "least of these".

So the glory is veiled, and to find it we have to search the highways and byways, we have to talk to the poor, invite them in, serve and love.

The kids went back and drew people in that 5th space, then we glued a small piece of fabric, a veil they had to lift to see that picture.

This advent, lift the veil.  Look for Jesus in those least noticed by the world.  Find glory broken up and diffused into a billion sparks.  

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