Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Nazareth Super

    IMG_6659On the 23rd the basement was done and Eli and Julie and Baby Zara arrived from New York and we had our big Nazareth Supper.  We’ve done this for 7 years now I think.  With these same families.  We’ve grown so much bigger, so big that we had to skip eating on the floor like we usually do and bring some long tables into our living room.  I was cursing this tradition as I made falafel all day and set things up.  Was this really worth it?  Is this one of the traditions that meant a lot to me growing up, but not really something I can replicate? 

But the minute those guests arrived, Mary and Joseph and Elizabeth and Zachariah and all those shepherds and Angels I melted into the spirit of it.  All the craziness of the day slipped away as our house transformed and we went back in time.   Back 2015 years, to the center of time, a few weeks before the Savior was born in Nazareth.  Back to Mary’s home where her parents had gathered friends and kinsman and lots of other random characters to eat a humble meal before the pregnant couple left on their long journey to Bethlehem.  The spirit was thick as we ate and and sang “oh come Emanuel” and {tried} to get everyone to {seriously} introduce themselves and discuss how these people felt as these huge eternity shaking events were unfolding.

Our kids (as silly as they are when they’re dressed like this) are getting the message.  They’re stopping to consider these real people from long ago.  I could feel this altering their perceptions of the Christmas story.  And that instantly made it worth all the work. 

As I sat there I thought about something I heard Brian Kershisnik talk about when he came out here this fall for an art show and lecture (I love his art by the way, and his words on his website).  He said that we often do history a disservice by thinking of it’s events as inevitable.  I’ve thought a lot about that since I heard him speak.  The characters playing out these civilization altering acts didn’t know the end from the beginning.  They were unsure and worried.  Surely they wondered if what they were doing was right, if it would make a difference, if they were on the right track.  From our perspective it often looks as if they were just following a prescribed course, a road all mapped out for them leading to change and progress and liberation.  But they were every bit as unsure as we often are about where to go and what to do and what all the mismatched pieces in their lives meant.  They couldn’t see from God’s view.  They couldn’t see the whole tapestry.  The whole story.  But they were willing participants.  They worked and grappled and made decisions and wondered and walked forward in the dark with faith.  Faith that they were part of a higher plan, a more beautiful and complete picture. 

As I sat there candlelit I felt connected to the characters in the Christmas story.  Of course, they did have angels, they did see things maybe a little more clearly than I do on a day to day bases. But they did walk by faith, small but intricately important parts in an eternally large picture.    IMG_6671  IMG_6679

After dinner we sang carols with gusto around the {new to us!} piano.  I had to walk outside to take a picture.  Trying to see the bigger picture of how beautiful life is when seen from a far. 


1 comment:

  1. Love your deep thoughts and astonishing photography, Interesting to contemplate that none of us knows how we will fit into history until it's over, love you,



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