Day by Day

Advent 3 – December 2022


During the third week of Advent we turn our hearts towards the joy and celebrations of Christmas. I love the Scripture verses which speak of joy and extol us to be joyful and thankful. They are in complete contrast to what we heard from just about any media outlet.

A few years ago we listened to the Green Amber series. In the third book, Ember Rising, a group of the feisty protagonist rabbits have created a secret underground tavern where there is music, colour, dancing, good food and drink, and uncensored conversation and laughter. It’s purpose is to remind their fellow rabbits, now living in a Wood governed by authoritarian preylords, of what life used to be like and to spur them on in their fight towards liberation.

I loved this image of celebrating in the midst of troubled times. In the same way we light candles to defy the darkness, so we celebrate with colour and beauty and music to push back encroaching greyness and evil. Is it wrong, though to celebrate in such times? It can seem insensitive when we know there are so many who have so little. It might just be too hard; we know several families who are facing Christmas with an empty place around the table, having lost loved ones unexpectedly to heart attacks or cancer. We weep with those who weep. But for those of us who can, I sense it is important to celebrate well. To make our homes places of light, of colour, of beauty and of laughter. To light candles and play music. To invite others in to share our food and laughter. The Bible commands us to be thankful and as we lift our eyes off our own circumstances and the troubles of the world around us and look to Jesus, our Creator, Redeemer, Rock and Provider, the One to whom one day every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that He is Lord (Phil 2:10-11) we can indeed belt out the wonderful words of the carol “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” and rejoice in the wonder of Christmas.


“A cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones”Proverbs 15:30

“But the angel said to them Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.”Luke 2:10

“Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the sound of singing.” Isaiah 51:3


As the boys have grown and moved on, I’ve developed new traditions with the girls. One of these is a visit with friends to Tyntesfield, our nearest National Trust property. It is always lavishly decorated with huge, sparkling Christmas trees, actors playing the parts of the Gibbs family and carol singing in the main hallway.

Carols around the tree.

The dining room at Tyntesfield.

My favourite room at Tyntesfield; a room where the whole family gathered, to read, play games and even perform plays, something which was quite unusual in Victorian times where children were often expected to be “seen and not heard.”

The peaceful beauty of a frosty morning.

Hark! The herald angels sing
“Glory to the new-born king
Peace on earth and mercy mild
God and sinners reconciled”
Joyful all ye nations rise
Join the triumph of the skies
With angelic host proclaim
“Christ is born in Bethlehem”
Hark! The herald angels sing
“Glory to the new-born king”

Hail the heaven-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Sun of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings
Risen with healing in His wings
Mild He lays His glory by
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth
Hark! The herald angels sing
“Glory to the new-born king”

Hark! The herald angels sing
“Glory to the new-born king
Peace on earth and mercy mild
God and sinners reconciled”
Joyful all ye nations rise
Join the triumph of the skies
With angelic host proclaim
“Christ is born in Bethlehem”
Hark! The herald angels sing
“Glory to the new-born king”
“Glory to the new-born king”

2 thoughts on “Advent 3 – December 2022”

  1. A special Carol- within the turmoil of the world, the light of Christ shines.
    This is our hope. This is what I believe.

    ‘Above thy deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by
    Yet in thy dark streets shineth, the everlasting light
    The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight’.

    Liked by 1 person

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