Sunday, December 4

Advent (Days 1-4)

I have an ambitious Christmas to-do list. Ice skating, Christmas cooking baking, carol singing... Yesterday I bought my first live Christmas tree!  It was expensive and a hassle to get home and upright in its stand, so I plan on keeping it through January...

The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them.

My church is doing a fun Advent project called Images of Eternity. Each day of Advent, someone shares an image that they think represents heaven, or eternity, or God's kingdom, or new creation, or whatever you want to call it. It's a neat project because everyone has a different perspective; we've had lots of philosophical (and funny, and argumentative) conversations about what eternity is and how we can experience or capture or create it now.

I'm going to start sharing each image on this blog. You can click on each photo and read any accompanying text on Church on the Corner's Tumblr (we're so trendy).  Here are the first few days:

4th December 2011

Eternity will be not only without limits on time but also on space. There will be no barriers, no closed doors, nowhere we are afraid to tread. The whole recreated world will be before us, and we will follow a well-trodden path into the beauty of the endless love we have been promised.

3rd December 2011

One of the pictures of eternity in the Bible is that of a wedding.
For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.Rev. 19:6-7
And at the heart of a wedding are the vows; a statement of intent of how the partners intend to spend the rest of their life.‘I take you,to be my wife/husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward; for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part’ The vows reflect the nature of this world - there will be both good and bad times and this life will end. In eternity things will be different.  Sorrow will end, and every tear will be wiped away.  Eternity is where the promise we try to make to each other in the context of marriage - to love forever - can actually be fulfilled.  I God take youto be my loved oneto have and to holdfrom this day forwardto love and cherish.Forever.

2nd December 2011

This is my niece one afternoon I was babysitting: totally comfortable, totally relaxed.  I love all the imagery of eternity being like living in God’s home - that it is a place where we are expected and wanted, a place of security, rest and peace.   

‘In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, LORD, 

make me dwell in safety.’ 
Psalm 4.8


1st December 2011

I took this photo in the Makgadikgadi Pan in Botswana, one of the biggest salt pans in the world. The pan is so flat and empty and that you can see the earth curve over the horizon.  Looking up, you see the unbroken dome of the sky: On a moonless night, every star in the Southern hemisphere is visible.

The pan looks devoid of life in the dry season, but just underneath the dry salt surface mud teems with algae.  When the rainy season comes, the pan fills with water; the algae grows; and birds and wildlife migrate from all over the region to eat.  These cycles of migration and growth have taken place for thousands of years.

In this silent, huge place I felt connected to an old universe beyond the cramped details of my own brief life.  I was here with my husband on our honeymoon, celebrating a commitment to a permanent bond - another glimpse of eternity.


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