Friday, December 21, 2007

Come the Way of Friendship

Contemporary Lesson Amazing Peace by Maya Angelou (Random House, 2005)

Into this climate of fear and apprehension, Christmas enters,

Streaming lights of joy, ringing bells of hope

And singing carols of forgiveness high up in the bright air

The world is encouraged to come away from rancor,

Come the way of friendship.

Gospel Lesson Luke 1: 35-38

The angel said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy and will be called the Child of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a child; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.’ Then Mary said, ‘Here am I, the servant of God; let it be with me according to your word.’ Then the angel departed from her.

Advent Icon "Mary Goes to Visit Elizabeth" by Frank Wesley

"The figure of Mary is in the centre of an almost circular shape of bright, flat vermilion colour, symbolising the creation, pregnant with the creator. The peacock behind her represents the glory of Christ. Mary is clothed in the events of the future. The design on her skirt shows angels, kings and shepherds. Her apron has a phoenix design, suggesting resurrection. The thatched home tells of humble origins, the golden sky of happiness in heaven. The trees, the banana and the mango, are symbols of fruitfulness, touched in gold to indicate God's presence. Each bird bears a meaning: the crane denotes asceticism, the jacana happiness, the parakeets joy and the doves holiness. The waves in the pond are formed to suggest a multitude of fish, an early Christian sign." - From Australian EJournal of Theology

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