Dr. Mark Allen Powell, a prominent New Testament scholar, always stops and looks with wonder to the sky on cloudy days. He does this because he believes the scriptures, which claim Jesus is coming back. Ever since he told me that, I have paused on cloudy days to look to the heavens with a smile – just in case this is the day. I have a lot more opportunities in Ohio than I did in Texas!
I love celebrating Advent and Christmas in the Northern Hemisphere, where the days are getting shorter, the night’s longer, and you really get some use from your Christmas lights. (In southern Australia it is only getting dark after 9pm, and quite challenging to take younger children out to see the lights because they will get to bed quite late.) I love the Advent wreath – and lighting another candle each week. I love the candlelight filling our sanctuary on Christmas Eve. I love that we get to celebrate Christmas for another 12 days up until Epiphany, and that too is a wonderful festival – of light coming to the whole world.
Just before Christmas in 1985 Mary and I visited the DDR – the former East Germany. We went there to visit Luther sites. We were hosted by a wonderful German family who have become lifelong friends. In 1985 they of course had no idea that just 4 years later would see the tearing down of the wall and the reunification of Germany.