Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Season of Advent, Week 3: Joy In the Evening

"Weeping may endure for a night; but joy comes in the morning ..."

But I'm finding more and more this year many people hurting so much that their pain spills through into the day; their pillows cannot contain the anguish they are feeling. 

So can we change the time for joy to the evening, when we have gained more equilibrium?!

Consider this:
  • There were shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flocks by night. And suddenly the angel of the Lord appeared before them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them, and they were very afraid. But the angel said unto them, Fear not, for behold I bring you glad tidings of great JOY, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord.
  • The wise men travelled by night, following a star, until it came to rest over the place where Jesus and His family were living
  • Nicodemus, the ruler to whom the most well known words of the Bible were spoken, came to Jesus at night. Jesus said to him, among many other things, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Did Nicodemus experience joy from that meeting? I would like to think so - in his great love for Jesus, he was the man who brought about one hundred pounds of myrrh and aloes, spices to embalm a dead body, when Jesus was taken down from the cross in preparation for His burial
In the last few days the TH has experienced moments of joy in the evenings. Here are some tiny glimpses:

Each evening my friend Doreen comes and lights candles in the lantern that rests outside the window of the TH. "Seeing that light makes me so happy," a college girl said to me on Sunday night at dinner.

Spidery winter cobwebs delicately gracing my car port - I had never noticed them until two frosty nights ago

My favourite Christmas dinner of the season at the TH this year: the Kneehill Christian School Board booked in for a turkey dinner. I had no idea who was going to show up - imagine my happiness when I was able to greet a number of some of my favourite people who come to the TH!

The dinner went well. However, the highlight of the evening occurred after all the food had been cleared away, after the speeches had been made and the coffee drank. Different groups arose and sang, magnificent carols - some old and familiar, some new to me and beautiful. But the one that stopped the chatter and the breath of all of us in the kitchen was Silent Night, a cappella, in four-part harmony.

Lastly, I managed to get into Calgary to take in an art show featuring my friend Frances Ann's newest creation, the Tree of Life depicted on 33 squares of canvas. Also on display were some paintings and some of the exquisite poetry from the mind and heart and hand of my sister Cathryn. Sitting in the room as darkness fell outside, allowing the Tree of Life to tell its story; reading the words; studying paintings, executed in the dark but bringing such light, provided me with the time I desperately needed to regain my focus, to remember my joy in this season. Spending time with my sisters Bronwyn and Deborah, who also came for the showing, added to my great pleasure in the evening.

And then, as we left the FCJ Centre where the exhibition was housed, Frances Ann exclaimed, "Look, it's on!" 

We looked across the street to the cathedral shrouded in darkness. But shining out from the wall was the stained glass window, whose lights had been turned on for some reason that evening. "It's rarely turned on," Frances Ann explained. "I've seen it only twice.

"But this evening we've been given a gift - He's here!"

Glimpses of Joy in the evening ...


  1. oh karyn! *yes*! such an amazingly stunning portrayal of the truth that He *is* here - caught up in the light of stained glass, His presence proclaimed loud in the dark.

    your words speak into what He is teaching me in this season as well - and you have blessed me *again*.

    love you so much, dear friend.

  2. The dark is the best place to see, if what you're looking for is Light. For all in darkness, may the Light shine. Blessing and hope, love, joy in this Advent-ure.

  3. Karyn,

    Thank you for standing in the dark with me on a cold winter's night and sharing one of those small but wondrous moments that take our breath away.

    Peace and joy.


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