Tag Archives: Peter Marshall

Advent Joy #1: Rejoice

Light shines on the righteous
and joy on the upright in heart. — Psalm 97:11

Christmas cards – check. Christmas decorations – check. Watching endless Christmas movies – check. Christmas shortbread cookies and listening to Christmas carols – check and check. 1st Christmas stocking almost complete – check. Fighting off a cold – ugh!!

I know, right? Talk about a downer to the start off my day. i was not a happy camper this morning. Pull out the oils, tissue box, favorite blanket and read the WORD. Somehow – even colds aren’t so bad when I force myself to stick to my devotional time.

And tonight I am rejoicing for I have banished said cold to the nether reaches of the universe. The nose has dimmed to a pale, sucked-on, candy cane pink. The scratchy throat a mere irritant in the memory banks. Cough non-existent and so I say: REJOICE, REJOICE…!

“And Mary said: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
my spirit REJOICES in God my savior.”~Lk 1:46-47

I love reading translations of Bible verse that lean heavily on Rabbinic interpretations. Today, I was reading about Psalm 97:11. The original Hebrew is translated: “Light is planted FOR the righteous…”

I love those little prepositions. When used in conjunction with the right verb the whole power of the verse shifts in a slightly, yet substantial, direction. Suddenly, I can envision a seed of light being planted every time I manage to make time to talk with a neighbor…When a child learns something new because I took time to show them why or how…when the WORD become buried in a picture of words for others to find…when the Hubby smiles before he closes his eyes to sleep…when my pups look at me with all this love and trust in their eyes…when Christmas becomes more than a season…I REJOICE and REJOICE and REJOICE

“There remains one way – – The Way – – untried, untested, unexplored fully……the way of Him Who was born a Babe in Bethlehem.” ~Peter Marshall, (p15)

Long ago a seed of Light was planted for us. A seed of Light that started a whole new garden. Just think, if we keep adding to that garden, imagine what that garden could look like when Christ returns for His bride. It would really be time to REJOICE then. Perhaps today – perhaps tomorrow…[google images]

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