Again: Once More

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Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.”

John 3:3 NLT

Most adventures promise mystery and intrigue. As we enter this Advent{ure}, I wonder as I wander through the Scriptures, the Advent devotions and even my surroundings. I wonder where will this season take us? What does God have in store for each day? Today a word comes to mind: AGAIN.

Once more God speaks to me through a word. I often chaff against the again-ness of life. Why do I have to decide again whether or not it’s worth the effort to decorate the house for Christmas? Will I get out every collected item to honor the past? Will I gripe about preparing the artificial tree for the ornaments? Should I even put up the tree? These may seem like trivial questions, yet they surface and the decisions loom before me.

As I turn over the word “again” in my mind, I notice it holds two words: a and gain. Will I see the traditions and the pleasures of the season as a gain? What do I gain from taking the time to decide what I want to do with decorations this year? Taking the time reveals that it’s okay to leave some of the traditions behind this year.

What I really want is to prepare an atmosphere in my home and in my heart to enjoy God’s presence. To enjoy each other’s company. To have our home open for friends and family to stop by without concern. I choose to keep it simple. I will decide about the tree later.

As I pause, after preparing our home for Christmas, I thank God again for showing me that the spiritual trumps the sentimental. He delights in my desire to create time and space for His presence. Once more, I marvel that God chose to create room in Mary’s womb to take on flesh. To be born among us, so that we could be born again.

I leave you with the words from the aria duet in Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, Part III:

Lord, Your compassion, Your mercy

comforts us and sets us free.

Your gracious favor and love,

Your impulses,

make Your fatherly faithfulness

again new.

(Johann Sebastian Bach)

 

 

4 thoughts on “Again: Once More

  1. I can hear those lilting Bach strains *again*……just as I heard them at yesterday’s concert. Funny that you should see the “gain” in again, because I have taken to pronouning it the British way (and not the American way: uh-ginn). After all, it’s not spelled agin! 🙂 But I love your take on this. There is often a gain in doing something again. Traditions can be beautiful and meaningful. But I think you are so wise to know why you are doing them. Sometimes we can just do things again out of idle repetition and convention and just because we don’t know what else to do. But when we think through the movements of Advent, and do things with intentionality and love, truly we gain. And how blessed we are when we gain the Christchild and all He has to give us. What greater gift is there? Truly His faithfulness is new every morning, again and again and what A GAIN this is!
    Love this, Kel!
    Lynni

    1. Lynni- I so appreciate how you love to play with words…thank you for helping me regain the truths of intentional living, embracing the Christchild and recalling the daily newness of God’s faithfulness!

    1. Lesley- Thanks for your beautiful craftsmanship on the nativity…I have had many compliments on them already. I placed them on the buffet in our family room so I can see them every morning when I have my coffee.

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