We Gather Together

Thanksgiving. Family, food, fat. Er, I mean, Family, food, fun! Our week of Thanksgiving started early as we gathered together last Sunday, the day when all our family could be present. We had a wonderful day, full of tradition, golden sunlight and laughter. Jim read from Psalm 100 as we paused before we ate to remember all that we are thankful for. We read some little quips on our place cards that began with, “You might be a Redneck, if…you use an old hubcap for your turkey platter”. Or, “the secret ingredient in your stuffing came from the bait shop”. And to complete this homey (homely) scenario, just as we were finishing up our feast, I spotted a couple of muskrats swimming in the pond, called to “Pa” and Jim grabbed his .22. My apologies to our guests and neighbors. I guess not everyone is accustomed to hunting during dinner.

My birthday was on Wednesday, so we had another feast at my in-laws. Grandma Darlene is a fabulous cook, so we enjoyed a roast beef dinner and then waddled off to a pre-Thanksgiving service at church. Then on Thursday, the real Thanksgiving, some wonderful friends included us in their celebration where we sang, ate, laughed and played Pass the Pig and Mad Gabs. It is so good to laugh, isn’t it? Good for the soul.

This morning, I read the following on Writer’s Almanac and thought it was a good concise introduction of both Mr. Lewis and the Inklings. I’m often asked how our store got its name and this seems to sum it up. Today, November 29th, is the birthday of C.S. Lewis, born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in 1898. His family’s house was filled with books, and he said that finding a new book to read was as easy as finding a blade of grass. Lewis moved to England, and at first he hated everything about England — the landscape, the accents, the people. But he taught at Oxford for almost 30 years, and while he was there he became part of a literary group, a gathering of friends who called themselves “The Inklings.” They met twice a week, drank beer, and discussed their writing. One of these Inklings was J.R.R. Tolkien, and he and C.S. Lewis became close friends, and Tolkien inspired Lewis — who had been an atheist — to convert to Christianity. Lewis became one of the most important Christian thinkers of the day. He published Mere Christianity (1952), but his most famous books are The Chronicles of Narnia, beginning with The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (1950). C.S. Lewis said, “Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.”

Thinking of C.S. Lewis as Christmas approaches, remember that if Aslan hadn’t come to Narnia, it would be “always winter and never Christmas”. I hope you will join me in thinking about ways to prepare our hearts for Christmas. Find an Advent book and think about ways to make the Season more meaningful, both for yourself and someone else. I read about Christmas for about an hour this morning in a little book called The 25 Days of Christmas: Family Readings, Scriptures, and Activities for the Advent Season and I was particularly moved by a story by Walter Wangerin called “The Ragman”. I am also looking forward to reading a book called Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus: Experiencing the Peace and Promise of Christmas by Nancy Guthrie. I’d love to hear what your Advent plans are!

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Published in: on November 29, 2008 at 6:50 pm  Leave a Comment  

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