Re-Publish – The Advent Writings, Day 7: Memoratus

The reposting frenzy continues. Freshness shall be obtained, somewhere around 14 or 15. 

Memoratus – remember; be mindful; mention/recount/relate, remind/speak of.

(Source: William Whitaker’s Words)
I’m a firm believer in raising stones. Actually, I’m a firm everything – my beloved refers to me as “bony” these days. Folks give me a pat on the shoulder, and hit skeleton. I look at my upper chest and can see ribbage. It ain’t pretty.
Where was I? Oh yes – stones.
There’s a tag on this here blog called “The Stones” made up of things that I need to remember; to keep in front of me; to hold in; to use today’s word, memoratus. Things that I must not forget, that I must be mindful of. Signposts of God’s faithfulness, reminders of where I’ve been and pointers to where I am heading.
What does this have to do with Advent? Not a thing – I’m running dry here.
Just kidding.
In this season of preparation, of getting ready, knowing where we are, where we have come from, and where we are heading is important if the King is to be given His proper place in all things.
Sorry – that had overtones of “A Christmas Carol” in it… The Ghost of Advent Past will not be making an appearance, rest assured.
Where have you been? Has the King been on the throne this year in your life? Did situations, feelings, responses, thoughts all find their right perspective under His just rule?
(Cal’s totally honest response: Nope. Things have been shifting in the last few months, to His praise, but I ain’t there yet. At least I’m in the same area code.
Which one?
906 of course – everyone knows God lives in the 906 area code.)
Where are you now? Is it the same old same old, another hectic holiday haul, go here, do that, buy those, wrap them, watch this, listen to that, all the usual trappings that so obscure what it’s really all about?
Do you find yourself empty, longing, unsettled, bitter, disillusioned, or just generally feeling blue? Are you so extreme that you’d gladly be the one driving the sleigh and running grandma over with the reindeer?
(I had the um… joy… of working at a little bitty station in da U.P. when that song started getting airplay. Lovely. I know my life will never be the same…)
Do you bury yourself deep, so that all the jolly and jingle bounce right off? Keeping the holiday at bay, because it’s been bad for so long that you have to import daylight?
(Cal’s honest response: My mom was the heart of our Christmas celebration, so when she was gone in 2003, Christmas kind of went too. There have been good times, dark times, and numb times. Stay tuned for current conditions…)
Where are you going? Has everything felt perfect on the outside, with a yawning emptiness inside, leading you to decide that this year the King returns to the center, His rightful place? Has Advent opened your eyes to making Him central every day? Are you sweeping the house, cleaning the dirt away so when the King arrives, you can welcome Him with joy and open arms?
(For the record, He will enter in anywhere, even if your house looks like the result of the last freight tornado to Oz. Trust me – I’m an expert in this.)
So what stones will you raise to help you remember?
What will remind you of the past, the places where you slipped and fell, and of where He gently lifted you up and carried you? Where His light shone so brightly all around you that you felt sure your eyes would never recover? What will make you take notice of the darkness, to help your resolve to live in the light?
Where will you place reminders of your present, of either a steadfast steady walk, or a rough path that reached a crossroads in 2011 and took a sharp turn toward the light? What will remind you of an Advent that opened your eyes and rocked your world with its gentle presence?
(Cal’s honest response: You’re looking at my signposts right now. I place “the stones” here on the blog, so that I can look forward and back and remember. My beloved looks here too, and we walk the journey hand in hand.)
The stones help those we love too. They see where we were, where we are, and the mindful journey we are on. The stones give our family and friends tangible reminders of our path, our choices, our resolve, and help them understand more fully. And perhaps to join us on the journey.
We are forgetful critters. It’s that simple. Nothing evil in that statement, no declaration of the frailty and fallenness of peoplekind, no loud shouting of the deceitful wickedness of the heart.
(Those are all true, for the record… I’m just not the shout and declare type of dude, at least not in my new life.)
Without real, physical, tangible reminders of Immortal Invisible God only wise (to quote the hymn), we will let slip the most important things. I’ve said it before – the presence of the mundane clouds our eyes, stops our ears, captures our senses and pushes God to the background. For me, wrapped up in the stones is this phrase:
“As He has been, so He shall be.”
He does not change. The same God who put stars in place is the same God who spared Abraham’s son; is the same God who moved ahead in fire and cloud; is the same God who keeps His promises through all generations; is the same God who sent His beloved to be born and live and breathe and die and rise…
and is the same God who said He will continue His good work, and will complete it.
We put up our tree, then decorate it with ornaments. Some have a short history with us – on sale 50% off last year the day after Christmas, picked up at a yard sale in July, that sort of thing. Some have a long history, full of memories and family and Christmases long, long ago. And the act of putting them on the tree brings back those past jewels, or past shadows. We remember, sometimes in delight, sometimes in gratitude for how far we have come, and usually in joy for it all.
And there, in a nutshell (a chestnut roasting on an open fire, if you will), are “the stones.” The things we collect and hang on our days to keep us mindful of things we need to remember. As we unpack (or have unpacked – I’m usually weeks behind…) the Christmas treasures, hang them for all to see and recall their stories, let’s take that with us into the new year, placing the stones and recalling their stories as we walk with the King, listening to His voice and learning His ways.
Memoratus – remember; be mindful; mention/recount/relate, remind/speak of.
” At the right time, God wrote Himself into the story. ‘For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given.’ And that’s the reason that All is Well. Remember?”
– Frank Peretti, “All Is Well”

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