Sitting

Paper Lace Winter Scene

This last week I’ve spent hour after hour, day and day crawling on my knees, standing, bending over, and walking around my 8′ work tables creating paper lace pieces to support the Advent worship art at church. The smallest piece at left, a 4′ x 3′ hanging for the entrance, was relatively easy to wrangle. But the 34′ roll of 9′ wide pure white photographic backdrop paper was another proposition. Eventually whittled down to three more manageable pieces – 12′ x 6′, and two 10′ x 9′ pieces, they each had to be carefully handled so as not to get them dirty, or to crease, bend or tear them. Then there was the rolling and unrolling of the too big for my table pieces of paper, the stabilizing of edges with white duct tape, the rough cutting with an utility knife, the fine cutting with an X-acto knife, AND the ten thousand punches with a hole punch to create a fussy cut organic edge to the “forest canopy” to be hung along the back wall of the 30′ stage . While my body did amazingly well throughout the week. I plan on sitting for the rest of my life…

During one of my rest breaks, I had the opportunity for a Skype call with a pastor friend who lives further south. Talking about her spiritual preparation during the Advent season, Lisa described the “grab bag” method of putting out her Nativity set figure by figure over the season. Each day she reaches into her crèche collection picking out one character from the Christmas narrative. Sitting with each figure she prayerfully attends to the attributes embodied in each one, reflecting on how those attributes might speak into her own life. Sitting with and learning from one’s crèche community. What a lovely idea!

NativityWith the Advent season literally tripping over Thanksgiving this year, our holiday decorations went up in fits and starts. And curiously I was reluctant to set out one nativity having relegated its usual location to another bit of seasonal decor – just to create some freshness among the long loved items we enjoy. With Lisa’s inspiring idea percolating in my mind, I turned a narrow wicker breadbasket into a temporary inn. As the Spirit moves, I randomly choose a figure from the rough ceramic Welch nativity…and sit with it. And although, after a period of time, I’m up and about, going about my day, I spend the day sitting with the fullness of what each figure represents. A fullness I plan on sitting with for the rest of my life.

If you were to sit with just these three – Mary, Joseph and the Angel, how might they speak into your life today? What might sitting with the wise men, the shepherds, the donkey, the camel, or the sheep be like? What might they say to you?  Or the stable and star? Especially the Babe. Doesn’t sitting sound lovely?

5 comments to Sitting

  • Lynne, I loved this one. I set up the Nativity first every Christmas season. If that were the only piece of decorations I managed to install, it would still make it Christmas. I can do without the tree and all the wreaths but not the Nativity. I have often thought of them as I placed each piece but not taken time to sit with them.

    Now the connection here, comes with how it was done this year as opposed to other years. Usually Mary, Joseph, then the animals, then the shepherds and angels, lastly the baby Jesus…wise men get a spot East of the Nativity. This year, I just grabbed whichever piece came first from the packing and set it in place. It was a refreshing way to do it and I found myself smiling a lot.

    How strange to read your post. Next year, I will sit with each piece a bit before placing it. Thank you! – Randi

  • Deanna Bowling

    I set up the Nativity first in doing the Christmas decorating here at the house. It is the first indicator of Christmas that you see coming in the door. I hadn’t thought, either, of sitting with each piece before placing them and about the stable. Thank you for that suggestion. I will try to remember it for next year.

  • Lynn Knuth

    As the grandkids get into their 20’s, we’ve scaled way back on all the decorating & “fluff” but the one thing that ALWAYS goes in the place of honor is our Nativity scene. More than anything else, it says “Jesus is the REASON for the season”! We hope people seeing it through our front window take a moment to think about its meaning too.

  • sharron luft

    Personally, I think I want to just sit with YOU and enjoy the bounty of fun and important ideas that percolate through you. I admire the willing effort you put into your beautiful worship item; the idea of cutting all that stops me in my tracks. I share your friends’ reflective responses to the nativity decorations they mentioned. I always do mine first too, and this year, it will be the only decoration. At St. Mark’s we have decided to make the creche a central activity in our seasonal outreach. Next year, we’ll put up a real manger and costumes so that families can arrange themselves in it and have photos. Of course, this is still in the idea stage so it will most likely change by next year. Thank you for your many blessings in 2013.

  • Joan Chandler

    Hi Lynne,

    It looks as though you have had quite a week. From what I can see of your paper lace art it looks lovely. What a task! I randomly set up our navivity scene each year the same way without giving it much thought. Thank you for the input. I will try to remember to sit with some of the pieces and reflect on them, maybe when I am taking them down until the next year?
    Blessings to you and Robert for a wonderful Christmas and New Year.

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