Christmas Restored

Imagine our world when there was no radio, television, internet, and only dim lighting at night.   One form of entertainment was the everlasting invention of the picture book.  The value of these books was the colorful images and authoritative text not always so easily or readily available.  Our ancestors valued these books so much they passed them down to each generation.  Unfortunately not everyone receiving these precious gifts appreciated them.

I recently acquired an antique German picture book presenting the story of the nativity.  The cover was dirty and moldy from not being stored properly.  Being the curious curator of the dumpster that I am, I brought it home in hopes to improve its appearance and extend its purpose of production.

The name of the book is:

Es ist ein Ros entsprungen (A rose has sprung up)
Ein biblisches Bilderbuch (A bible Picture book)
Neues Testament (New Testament)

Publisher: Kunstdruck & Verlag Von Ernst Kaufmann

The date of the book is not indicated but this publisher appears to have been in business during the early 20th century.  The art work on the front cover with vines and flowers is characteristic of the Arts and Crafts period 1880 – 1910 so my guess is this book was produced somewhere during that time.

Here are photos before and after my restoration efforts.

After

From Christmas Day to 3 Kings Day

We are now on the 6h day of Christmas.  What did your true love give to you today?  How many want to have Christmas for more than one day or want it to last a little longer?  Perhaps not as many as the number that really don’t want to endure painful memories or regrets, but there are many.  This year almost every other person tells me that Christmas just came and went so quickly.  If only they would celebrate Christmas until the wise men arrive on the Epiphany.  I have to admit, the season has truly flown by this year but I am making the most of it and plan to wrap it up with a 3 Kings Day celebration.  Some call it Epiphany and some call it Twelfth Night.  This will be the final day of Christmas in my house.
I hope you all had a very happy and merry Christmas on Christmas Day.  As a simple human being, it’s hard to fully grasp the meaning of God’s gift that we celebrate.  Our journey during Advent helps us to understand the meaning of life and put our whole existence into perspective.  Taking the opportunity to spend time with family and friends will remind us of what’s most important….  Watching It’s a Wonderful Life or The Grinch gets to the point but is no substitute for the real thing.  Hope you all have a longer and happier Christmas filled with peace and joy from celebrating the birth of Baby Jesus with all those you love regardless of the miles that may separate you.  Make a difference in the lives of others and bring joy to the world.
Now it’s time to start looking for my king cake recipe.  Have a good day and let the celebration continue.

New Year’s Evaluation

The value of light in our world today is most likely a lot less than what it was in ancient Israel, only because we take it for granted.  We have lights everywhere you go, except when you get out into the country or the wilderness.   The absence of light essentially makes you blind.  You can’t see.  You feel insecure.  You want to see.  You are forced to rely on other senses like sound, touch, and smell.   Only if you’ve recently experienced a black-out do you have an idea of what life was like before electricity.

Our gospel today presents the two blind men that are healed by Jesus.  They both ask to be healed and Jesus asks if they believe He can heal them.  Fortunately they have the right answer of “yes” and were healed.  These men were in the dark but now they can see.  They had faith they could be healed and they were healed.  Their faith is now stronger and more genuine than before.  Jesus is the light of the world and He gives it freely.  Just do what the blind men did.  They followed Him and then they asked Him for the healing.

Many cultures and religions understand the importance of light in our spiritual lives and acknowledge it with religious activities.  We have the Diwali festival, Hanukkah, and of course Christmas.  Do you need some light in your life?  Only with light will you really see where you are and truly understand your current position.  Advent is an excellent opportunity to let the light of Christ into your life.    From a secular perspective we make New Year’s resolutions in January to better ourselves.  For Christians we start the New Year with Advent and use the light of Christ to better our spiritual lives.