Symbols of Advent – Week 2 – Candle of Preparation

Symbols of Advent

Part 2 – Week 2

The Candle of Preparation

-Also known as  the Candle of Peace –

 by Lynda McKinney Lambert

 

GET READY!

The SECOND candle of ADVENT can be lit.

A miraculous world-changing event will take place.

For an awesome Christmas delight, you may click on the link below to listen to a Christmas song.  Peace to you today.

For an awesome Christmas delight, you may click on the link below to listen to a Christmas song.  Peace to you today.

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day, by Casting Crowns

Blog15_SCAN_12_Dec_Santos3Kings

 

As is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet:

A voice of one calling in the desert,

‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him. Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth. And all mankind will see God’s salvation.‘ (Luke 3:4-6)

 

God prepared this event in advance. Three kings were summoned to take a journey that would end up in a stable in Bethlehem where the kings would see the promised child.

 

Blog15_SCAN_12_Dec_SANTOS_4 figures

 

 

Three Kings prepared for their journey by selecting precious, costly gifts; they intended to offer the gifts to this child-king. The gifts were selected, and their long journey by night began. The traveling kings had the best GPS system possible – the enormous, bright star in the heavens!

_____

“An old idea must die. The three wise men had to give up the present world view when they embraced Christianity,” T.S. Eliot

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I’ve read the book, The Road Less Traveled, by M. Scott Peck, MD. several times. I read it when it first came out, and then I read the updated version that he wrote  twenty-five years after.

I find Dr. Peck’s thoughts on miracles timely. I am certain we must have a consciousness of miracles to understand the Christmas story. This leads me to ask,

“And, where do we find this kind of belief in the twenty-first-century world view?  How is a Consciousness of MIRACLES  discovered is the Zeitgeist of our contemporary world? ” 

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Dr. Peck wrote:

“I am certain that miracles abound.

We are assisted in miraculous ways.

If we remain open, then we will see miracles.

If we routinely look at ordinary experiences, we will begin to see the miraculous.”

 

Ordinary, everyday experiences?

I have a hunch that it was through the subconscious mind (Peck says it is where the SPIRIT dwells in humans) that the three kings were inspired to start out on this most unusual journey. Some Christians would say it is through our spirit that we are inspired. Either way, I have wondered, “Were they shown images of what they would discover when they arrived?”

I think, maybe so! Each person in this Nativity Story definitely had Divine guidance and perfect timing. Was it the human spirit, the subconscious mind, or the intuition – or all of these?  there is definitely a PLACE  from which the wise men were guided as they looked into the miraculous night sky with the star that was there as a visual landmark for them to follow. We know that such a heavenly  sign was in the night sky and it did take place at this time according to contemporary astronomers.

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Miracles are found when we are open to the ordinary and everyday.

Miracles abound when we decide  to live a life that is expecting miracles  and guidance from God in our ordinary daily life.

 

_____

From the beginnings of recorded history in Genesis, we are told repeatedly to look towards the heavens for miraculous events in the Sun, Moon, and Stars. I intend to keep looking!

_____

Preparation means to “get ready.” God takes our passions and our desires and He makes a way for us to live the life we were meant to have from the beginning.

The Three KINGS had no “Plan B” – no “back-up plan.”

What have you been preparing for?

What are your dreams?

Bring them to the one who has a PLAN A for your life.

_____

Far away from Bethlehem, on an island in the Atlantic Ocean, Christians celebrate Christmas and Epiphany in Puerto Rico. They commemorate the ancient journey to Bethlehem.

Blog15_SCAN_12_Dec_3Kings_Musicians

 

 

A unique and particular tradition by Puerto Rican artists is the hand carved SANTOS. One theme that is popular for SANTOS is the THREE KINGS. They hold a special place in the art of Puerto Rico culture.

Santos are traditionally twelve inches or less in height. Each piece is signed by the artist who made it. Every Santos is one-of-a-kind art.

_____

More About the SANTOS:

Christmas music celebrates the Preparation and Hope for WEEK 2 of Advent.  Notice on the SANTOS of the 3 Kings, above, how they each are holding  a musical instrument.  Think of the importance of MUSIC in the universe – and certainly this divinely orchestrated event would have been accompanied by the MUSIC of all of creation.

Below, I give you some links to music for this holy season.

Oh Come Oh Come Emmanuel”

OH, Come! Emmanuel.

 

Below:

This link will take you to a performance of the same Christmas Carol and there are images of medieval stained glass windows. Be sure to watch the images with the music and you will see many ways a rose has been depicted in them. We discovered the meaning of the Rose in my previous essay for the First Week of Advent – symbolic of Hope.

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Link to Week 1 – The Candle of Hope at this link:

Go To Week 1 – the Candle of HOPE

 

 

 

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Here is one final link to explore –

Look close to see:

Roses appear in the hair and halo of women; in bouquets and clothing ornaments, in the colorful mosaic pictures.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Q6iesplJRM

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Note: Photos of SANTOS from the authors collection. Photos by Lynda McKinney Lambert. Copyright 2015. All Rights Reserved.

This essay was written by Lynda McKinney Lambert.  Copyright 2015. All rights reserved.

Please share it with your friends! Thanks!

 

Next week, look for Week 3 – The Candle of Joy (The ?Shepherd’s Candle).

 

Lynda McKinney Lambert is the author of “Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage” published by  Kota Press. She authors two blogs on writing, the humanities, arts, and faith.  She is a free lance writer and her poetry and essays appear in numerous books and literary journals.  She is a retired professor of fine arts and humanities and she exhibits her fiber arts in exhibitions world-wide.
 Currently she has two books in development for publication in 2016.

 

 

The Candle of Preparation

Advent – Week 2

GET READY!

So, yes, this day begins the SECOND WEEK OF ADVENT and now the second Advent candle will be lit!  A miraculous world changing event will   take place..

Black_Madonna

The second Advent candle represents how God prepared to send a Savior into the world and how God kept his promise of a Savior who would be born in Bethlehem.  Yet, before a promise can be realized, special and careful preparations must be laid in advance. We can find the announcement of what God had in mind long before the actual birth of Christ.

blog_2014_Advent2_3Kings_HOTO

As is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet: ‘A voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him. Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth. And all mankind will see God’s salvation.‘ (Luke 3:4-6)

As a vital part of keeping the promise, preparations were made by God in advance. Three kings were summoned to take a journey that would end up in Bethlehem, in a stable, where they would see the promised child.

blog_2014_Advent2_3KingsMary_Photo

Three Kings  prepared for their journey by selecting precious, costly gifts;  they intended to offer the gifts to this child-king. The gifts were selected, and their long journey by night began as they traveled  towards Bethlehem. The traveling kings  had  the best GPS system of all –  the bright, enormous star  in the heavens!

“An old idea must die.  The three wise men had to give up the present world view when they embraced Christianity,”  T.S. Eliot said.

***

Currently, I’ve been  reading The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck, MD. I read the book when it was first  published in the late 1970’s.  The book is  so successful that he  revised it in honor of the 25th year of the first publication.   I read the revised  book two more times, this month.

As I work on this series of essays on ADVENT, I find Peck’s  thoughts on  miracles timely. I am certain we must have a consciousness of miracles to understand the Christmas story. And, where do we find this kind of belief in the twenty-first century world view?

***

Peck  wrote:

“I am certain that miracle abound.

We are assisted in miraculous ways.

If we remain open, then we will see miracles.

If we routinely look at ordinary experiences, we will begin to see the miraculous.”

***

Sometimes, I am making art all night long in my dreams. There have been nights when,  in my dreams, I was shown how to do a new technique I had never seen before, or, I was  given exciting ideas for a work of art. At times, I saw myself from a vantage point above, apart from my artist self who was creating a painting. It was as though  I was given lessons and shown how to do it by my dreaming self.  M. Scott Peck, MD.  wrote of such dreams  and dream-instructions that originate from deep within our subconscious mind.  The subconscious part of our mind, he contends,  is over 90 percent of our brain. That leaves only 10 percent of our brain for the conscious level that we use and are aware of continuously.

I have a hunch that it was through the subconscious mind  (Peck says it is  where the SPIRIT dwells in humans)  that the three kings were inspired to start out on this most unusual journey.  Were they shown images of what they would discover when they arrived? I think, maybe so! They definitely had Divine guidance and perfect timing.    Was this the place from which the wise men were guided as they looked into the miraculous night sky with the star that was there as a visual landmark for them to follow?  Miracles are found when we are open to the ordinary and everyday. From the beginning o9f the Bible, In Genesis, we are told repeatedly to look towards the heavens for miraculous events in the Sun, Moon, and Stars.  I intend to keep looking!

***

Preparation means to “get ready.”  God takes our passions and our desires and He makes a way for us to live the life we were meant to have from the beginning.   The   Three KINGS had no “Plan B” – no “back-up plan.” I am sure of it!  They were on a mission and it was “Plan A” all the way! What are your plans? What have you been preparing for? What are your dreams?  Bring them to the one who has a PLAN A for you life.

***

Far away from Bethlehem, on  an island in the Atlantic Ocean, Christians celebrate Christmas and Epiphany in Puerto Rico.  They commemorate the ancient journey to Bethlehem.

One of the most exciting courses I had the privilege of teaching at Geneva College, in Pennsylvania, was a team –taught course. This travel/study course  focused on Puerto Rico  culture. Our teaching team consisted of a  variety of colleagues from numerous disciplines in Humanities and the sciences. We  offered the course every spring semester. As part of that course, students traveled with us to Puerto Rico.  Once we arrived, we spent ten days working in various cities and locations on the island.

One of the  traditions that thrilled me is the making of SANTOS by Puerto Rican artisans. I  came  back home every year with some new ones I purchased on the trip.  One of the themes that is very popular for SANTOS is the THREE KINGS.  I bought the SANTOS in local stores and in museum gift shops on the island  and they have a prominent place in my home.

GE DIGITAL CAMERASANTOS  are  hand carved  religious sculptures, of saints. Most are  painted wood statues. They are traditionally twelve  inches or less in height.  Each is signed by the artist who made it, and each is one-of-a-kind art.

For the theme of Advent this week, I thought about the many steps of PREPARATION that an artist takes when she decides  to make a painting. Decisions must be made about what to paint it picture on?  What kind of paints to use?  What colors will be best to create a mood?  What utensils will  do the best effect?  What size should it be? Preparations lead the way to what will become a work of art, eventually.  The artist begins the journey after the plans are set for the painting.

Blog_2014_Advent2_TheThreeKingsPhotoThe final thing I want to share with you today is  music that celebrates the Preparation and Hope of the two Advent candles we have lit. You can continue, below, and find some links to music and art.

Light  the 2nd candle and think about the meaning of it this week.

Oh Come Oh Come Emmanuel

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xtpJ4Q_Q-444

This link will take you to a performance of the same Christmas Carol and there are images of Medieval stained glass windows. Be sure to watch the images with the music and you will see many ways a rose has been depicted in them. We discovered the meaing of the Rose in my previous essay for the Fist Week of Advent – symbolic of Hope.

Roses appear  in the hair and halo of women;  in bouquets; and clothing ornaments  in the colorful mosaic  pictures

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Q6iesplJRM

You may love to visit another blog and see more about Puerto Rico and how Christmas is celebrated on that island. If so, you can visit, “Day by Day with Maria.”  It’s  a blog by  María de Lourdes Ruiz Scaperlanda

http://daybydaywithmaria.blogspot.com/2013/01/los-tres-santos-reyes.html

On January 6, in Puerto Rico, the Christians will celebrate the arrival of the THREE KINGS who reached their travel’s end in Bethlehem.

Here is a song of celebration that the Christians in Puerto Rico sing on January 6th

http://daybydaywithmaria.blogspot.com/2013/01/los-tres-santos-reyes.html