Advent Peace #7: Sanctified Imagination

Early this summer I was browsing one of our local shops and found a couple familiar books. No one is surprised, right? I can walk down the street and find a familiar book somewhere. The Hubby is very adept at avoiding walking down streets with me because He hates seeing me bring new books into the house. As often as we move, he knows that it is one more heavy box he won’t want to carry.
 
What I haven’t told him is that I have gotten pretty good at passing books on to others. I have it on good authority that it is better to give than to receive. Besides – I totally have no room to store any more books at this point in my life – EXCEPT – I am keeping the two I found last summer. “Let’s Keep Christmas: a sermon by Peter Marshall” is one of them.
 
“The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone.”~Jn 1:4
 
Over the years, I’ve read many things by Peter Marshall and his wife, Catherine. One of the techniques he used was called “sanctified imagination”. Besides drawing on his own experiences, he would take a story from scripture and draw a picture with his words so that the listener felt it come alive within them. It was a way to help his parishioners bury the WORD in their hearts.
 
“The old message: ‘For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Chist the Lord’ is still the heart of Christmas. It can be nothing else.” ~Peter Marshall ‘Christmas Sermon’ p1
 
I was thinking about this as I re-read this book for the third time this Advent. I think ‘sanctified imagination’ is why Christmas is so strongly buried within me. From the special times when my daddy read the second chapter of Luke before I went to sleep on Christmas Eve – to all the Sunday school re-enactments – to all the Christmas carolings – to all the majestic re-tellings of Handel’s Messiah – to a Christmas Eve service by my childhood preacher who used his own version of “sanctified imagination” – the Christmas Story lives within me.
 
For those of us who have seen the manger, have seen the angels, have seen the wisemen, have seen the star – the WORD lives. It is what makes Christmas such a special season of the year – even if some of us are past enjoying the cold and snow. It is the light of the WORD within us – not just at Christmas – but everyday of the year.
 
In 1955, this tiny book was a gift to someone. A small blessing is written in cursive (thank goodness I learned cursive back in the ol’ days) that I am passing on to all of you. A timeless blessing and reminder that… Perhaps today… Perhaps tomorrow… but definitely – He is alive and is returning soon…
 

“May the Christmas blessings of Peace, Good will, and Happiness be yours today and throughout the coming years.” Monroe and Mickie, 1955

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