The Evergreen Journal #46 – Advent is a Personal, Intimate Journey
The Evergreen Journal # –
The Evergreen Journal #46
Advent is Personal
©Lynda McKinney Lambert, 2022. All rights reserved.
Throughout the months and seasonal changes of 2022, I continued to explore the word, Evergreen.
By writing a series of weekly blog posts for The Evergreen Journal, I could stay focused on my theme for the year, which helped me grow in many areas of my daily life.
As I move closer to the completion of this year, I discover that living an evergreen-type of life brings me to some thoughts about what it all means on a day-to-day basis. Thank you for taking this Evergreen Journey with me in 2022!
Advent is a Personal, Intimate Journey
I admit it.
I am a history junkie!
I love ancient history and the recorded facts and discoveries we encounter over our lifetime.
Texts,carvings in stone, architecture, burial sites, and artworks beckon me to continue on my life pilgrimage.
Everything in our world today has connections to the past. Everything you see every day as Breaking News on the TV reports is not new at all.
“What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” – Ecclesiastes 1:9. ~ King Solomon
The longer we live and learn, the more work we do in research, and the more we understand this truth about ourselves and our world.
I’ve discovered that my life is a sacred, supernatural pilgrimage.
It’s taken quite a few decades to be able to see it as clearly as I do now. This supernatural journey is what I have been writing about my entire life. My art and my writings come from a wellspring of supernatural and intimate life experiences and discoveries.
It was a joy to bring such discoveries to students as I lectured in the Humanities courses – From the Ancient – to Medieval – Through the Renaissance – the Enlightenment of the optimistic humanism of modernists, and the despair and rejections of post-modernism – and now – dysfunction, confusion, and despair of the Post-Post Modernists.
After sight loss in 2007, I retired from teaching in the classrooms and lecture halls. I had two passions in life – teaching art and art history; making art. Now, what in the world would I do without sight? What an unexpected turn in my life path. I had lots more learning to do.
In 2009, after I learned how to use technologies for the blind, I continued on my life-path of sharing my passions for history, art, music, and life. I realized that I could do this by I starting to writ a blog. Now my audience would be much larger than it was in the classrooms and auditoriums of the college.
Thirteen years ago, in December 2009, I created my first blog post.
At that time, I wrote:
I am making my declaration personal:
I am passionate about everything – Nature, Visual Art,
Poetry, Non-Fiction Essays, History,
Culture and Literature,
Travels, Memory, and Dreams.
Walking by Inner Vision Blog is a CELEBRATION of LIFE
I am captivated by Chapter 1 of Matthew’s Gospel.
He recounts Jesus’ birth, naming, and circumstances.
Matthew states that Jesus was born in Bethlehem during the time of Herod the Great.
As a humanities professor, I lectured on art, art history, and ancient architecture.
To prepare for my Humanities lectures, I learned more about the people who lived in the times when architecture was developed. Understanding our contemporary culture begins with research and studies in the ancient past. We look to those first sources as our primary sources.
We begin there, and we continue to study the cultural artifacts and history through the ages.
I am particularly fascinated by how ancient events are celebrated by people living in the 21st century. That is you, and me.
ADVENT is a Personal, intimate Pilgrimage –
During the four Sundays of Advent, churches, and homes of Christians are illuminated with candles. Followers of Jesus light the candles of their Advent wreaths. The candles are placed into the evergreens in a perfect circle to symbolize God’s eternity.
Advent means “coming.”
During the season, present-day followers of Jesus prepare a set-apart time when they will reflect on Jesus’ coming to earth. This supernatural birth in the ancient past, reveals God to humanity in a way that created beings could understand their supernatural divine Creator. Throughout Jesus’ life on earth, he always pointed to “the Father.” It was his mission, to show us the Father.
During Advent, Christians will light candles in a specific order each Sunday for four weeks before Christmas Day. The final candle (The Jesus Candle) is lit on Christmas Day.
Here are how the candles are arranged in
There are three colors of candles:
3 Purple, 1 Pink, and 1 white.
3 are Purple or Violet
Purple (or violet) has traditionally been the primary color of Advent. This hue symbolizes repentance and fasting.
The the spiritual discipline of denying oneself food or some other pleasure is one-way Christians show their devotion to God and prepare their hearts for his arrival.
Purple-violet is also the liturgical color for Lent’s season, which similarly involves a time of reflection, repentance, self-denial, and spiritual readiness.
Purple is also the color of royalty and Christ’s sovereignty, known as the “King of Kings.” So, purple in this application demonstrates the anticipation of and reception of the coming King celebrated during Advent.
Personally, I can never read Genesis1 enough – it is such a thrill to read the Creation story. My full-length book of poems, Star Signs: New and Selected Poems, was inspired by reading Genesis 1.
Friends, I hope you understand that we have heavenly origins. All of humanity is a creation of God, the Father, and we can see how that took place in the beginning when we read Genesis 1. My book, Star Signs: New and Selected Poems. is a celebration of our heavenly heritage, in poetry.
Here is how the candle for Advent are lit:
The first candle of the Advent wreath, the prophecy candle, or the candle of hope. Every the event in the story of Jesus’ birth was introduced long before it happened – by Prophets. So, the first candle celebrates prophecies from the Old Testament.
Week #2: Purple Bethlehem candle, or the candle of preparation,
I’ve learned that God always provides a sign for every promise to humanity. The message will point to an actual event that will take place in the future. When a celestial messenger or a prophet appears. After the events are predicted, there is a period of preparation for the events that are expected. In this case, the birth of a baby.
Week #3: Likewise, the THIRD WEEK – the third Advent Candle is Purple – The Shepherd’s Candle. – Candle of JOY
I kept thinking about the shepherds described in the Biblical accounts of the birth of Jesus. You can read all of the details by going to Luke 2 in the New Testament of the Holy Bible.
I know very little about tending sheep, but I understand the metaphor of the attributes of people who are very much like sheep.
I taught ancient Greek and Roman History – and one of the things the students discovered is how the image of sheep and goats was portrayed in the art and philosophy of the 2 pagan world-dominant cultures from the past. It’s fascinating to study the pictures of the sculptures and the animal images in the cultures’ stories. The Greeks and the Romans have much insight to reveal to teach us in our century. You can look at imagery from both cultures, and you will see the sheep and the goat depicted in their artifacts. For each of those cultures, there was no line between sacred and secular – they were one.
The Bible also has a lot to say about sheep and goats. They are icons of a world view – in each of the cultures. But, do you know they are also significant icons of the Christian World View throughout history?
From the beginning of the story about the coming of Jesus, we are entering into the Supernatural. And it’s so exciting to know that the events that happened on this particular night were written out in detail centuries before this night.
Week #4 Candle is ROSE.
Ah,the color has changed. What does that mean? Something
new is happening now – something entirely different in our story.
It’s called the ANGEL candle, or the candle of love. The
Miraculous – Divine Intervention in Human Affairs In the Biblical recording of the birth of Jesus, something miraculous was about to happen. The angel announced the news and prepared humans for the discovery of a miraculous event. Angels often appeared to save someone from disaster on many occasions in history.
(Next year, when I am writing The Evergreen Journal stories, I’ll write about my encounter with an angel who came to rescue me when I was in a very dangerous and life-threatening place at night.)
Week #4 is the JOY Candle –
This is the Incarnation – the in-dwelling of the divine inside of Mary’s body. She safely carried her baby, who was both human and divine and delivered him on that miraculous night in Bethlehem. Mary carried God inside of her body! Think of it! JOY of BIRTH –
Do you remember the birth of your first child?
My daughter, Salome’, is now almost sixty years old.
She had a flaw when she was born – one ear was folded over – Eventually, she had to have plastic surgery to fix the ear.
But no matter what our baby looks like at birth, we love that baby with a passion, don’t we? Remember how you felt when you held your baby for the first time?
What did you do?
Christmas Day – The day is Candle #5 – WHITE – JESUS CANDLE – Purity
On Christmas Day – December 25
Typically, the candles are arranged around a pine wreath and are on the center of a dining room table. I’ve seen many other ways of doing it – so you can be as creative as you like in your home observation of Advent.
The most important part of this celebration is that
it is deeply personal.
I recognize it as a vital part of the holiday season – and my reflection on the intimacy of Advent to a follower of Jesus, our Lord.
Advent is a thrilling pilgrimage through life.
Advent is living out a supernatural life as we follow Jesus.
In every circumstance when people would ask Jesus a question about what he wanted of them, he responded, “Follow me!” Let’s do it.
This book is currently in production at Perkins Library, for distribution through the library and through NLS (BARD).
MY NEW book is a thoughtful and joyous collection of my poetry, stories, memoirs, photography, and reflections from 1985 – 2021.
Songs for the Pilgrimage
is being recorded by Polly Slavet. at Perkins Library right now. It will be available on BARD very soon.
Watch for this release
Read some of my poems as published in Magnets & Ladders, Fall/Winter edition, 2022-23: Here.
©Lynda McKinney Lambert, 2022. All rights reserved.