“Be ready at all times for the gifts of God.  And always for new ones.”  ~ Meister Eckhart

Gifts are on our minds during Advent.  We are considering the greatest gift ever given, the gift of Christ.  We are thankful for the new gifts of God that every day brings.  And we honor traditions of giving gifts to others.  We choose gifts for those we love very carefully.  One of my favorite poets writes this:

Star Giving, by Anne Weems  from “Kneeling in Bethlehem”

What I’d really like to give you for Christmas

Is a Star . . .

Brilliance in a package,

Something you could keep in the

 pocket of your jeans

Or in the pocket of your being,

Something to take out in times of darkness,

Something that would never snuff

  out or tarnish,

Something you could hold in your hand,

Something for wonderment,

 Something for pondering,

Something that would remind you of

  What Christmas has always meant:

  God’s Advent Light into the

  Darkness of this world.

But Stars are only God’s for giving,

And I must be content to give you words and wishes and\

Packages without Stars.

But I can wish you Life

As radiant as the Star

That announced the Christ Child’s coming,

And as filled with awe as the

 Shepherds who stood

Beneath its Light,

And I can pass on to you the Love

That has been given to me,

Ignited countless time by others

Who have knelt in Bethlehem’s  Light.

Perhaps, if you ask, God will give

 you a Star.

Seeing a Star

100_1854Of the many symbols which decorate our home at Christmastime, my favorite may be the star.  Our big tree is lit with tiny twinkle lights reminding us of stars, and is topped with a star.  A crystal star holds a candle on the kitchen table.  My grandchildren draw stars. Joe loves the Christmas Song  “Beautiful Star of Bethlehem.”  I love the deep mystery of the great star which led wise men to search for a baby.  How sweet, then, in this simple and sacred ordinary evening,  to slice an apple to float in the cider on my stove and find this star, marking seed and promise of fruit..

Star giver,

Light shiner

Promise keeper…