Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Broken Ornaments

Thanks to all of you who have joined together in the Pause for Advent. It has been a wonderful experience to read and see all your Advent thoughts.I can't think of a better way to sum up my Advent thoughts than with the play that Son 2 was part of in church this morning, so I shall tell you the story, to go with some sadly grainy pictures - no faces of the children, of course. It's the story of some Christmas Tree ornaments. Are you sitting comfortably?...
The Christmas Tree ornaments were very excited to be taken out of their box, ready for the decoration of the tree.
But some ornaments found that they had been broken in storage over the year, and were very worried about what would happen to them.
They talked to each other about what might happen to ornaments which were not good enough any more.
Their worst fears came true and, without any attempt to mend them, the broken ornaments were thrown in the big rubbish bag outside the house.After a terrible night, during which the bin bags were attacked by cats, the broken ornaments were very surprised when a young man came by and spoke to them. He knocked on the door of the house and asked for permission to take the broken ornaments to his workshop.The inhabitants of the smart house were very surprised to hear that anyone wanted their discarded rubbish, but they let him take the ornaments away.So the young man, who was a master craftsman, got to work. He removed the broken pieces and scrappy bits from the ornaments, and added new pieces where they were needed.One of the ornaments had lost heart, and asked what could possibly be done to mend him.
The master crafstman amazed him by spending time and care on him, finally turning him into one of the most beautiful ornaments of all. He was put on the tree in the craftsman's home, and it was the most beautiful tree the ornaments had ever adorned!We were left to reflect on the meanings of this sweet little play. For me, I thought about how our societies reject people who seem 'wrong' or 'broken' in some way. I also thought about how our obsession with perfection leads to us throwing away wonderful things that could be mended - are the Sunday Club teachers doing the Challenge of the Utmost Kind? I also reflected on how we consider ourselves broken or unworthy at times, like Max the red bauble.The master craftsman is of course, an essential character in the play. The ornaments couldn't make themselves clean and tidy on their own - they needed someone to see their potential, who had the unique skills to perfect them.And this sums up the reason for my faith, I think. The two extremes of human nature are for us to think that we're rubbish and, paradoxically, for us to feel superior to others and worthy in our own right. It's very odd that we're able to hold those two views of ourselves at the same time, but that's me, for sure! Jesus is the bridge between the two for me - the master craftsman who sees my potential instead of my faults, and has done what it takes to make me genuinely fit for use!
So for me, preparing for Christmas is preparing to celebrate the birth of Jesus. I love to do this with food and ornaments, and it's right to do it with family and friends. But the centre of it all is Jesus.
Thanks for taking the time to read this little ramble about my faith - I don't often talk about the reasons for it, but if not now, when?


Michela said...

It's a wonderful story, thank you for sharing it with us and making us think about its meaning. Thank you also for arranging such a lovely event, I've had great fun taking part in it!

Apron Senorita said...

Thank you Floss for sharing the story. We are so blessed that God is the true Craftsman. I am glad that He can takes our broken pieces and make us whole. Yet, I have to admit that I like broken and worn-out things because they have character. We need to embrace difference and come to people's comfort when they are in need.

God Bless You!

Serenata said...

What a beautiful story Floss and so true. We have seen how people treat those that are 'different' with regards our DS2 and you would be truely horrified.

I'm going to a Carol Service tonight so will be blogging my pause tomorrow.

Really looking forward to it.

BadPenny said...

Thank You Floss - that was lovely. I've been checking all day to see what you write today !

We have some decorations up now - I'm not feeling too good but my daughter said, " Let's go minimilistic this year Mum" I must say, what we have done looks lovely.

Happy Christmas to you and your family xx

Sarah - Red Gingham said...

I hope you haven't felt too pressured writing these posts being the leader and all! You certainly have done a wonderful job. Thank you for including others and to help us stop and make us think about what's really important in life. Wonderful story about the decorations too! Too true. Have a wonderful Christmas, not sure when you are leaving, so have a great family time. xxx

Marigold Jam said...

What a lovely tale. It's true that we often either think we are not good enough or else better than the rest (or even as you say both at different times) and yet to God we are all his children and he loves us all the same. I was reminded of this last week when I noticed a homeless young woman sitting on the steps of a Paris church our guide had taken us into and having spoken to her (suggested to her that she might go inside as it was warmer inside!)and rejoined the group I was horrified to see 2 nuns pass her without even acknowledging her existence. Yet surely to God she was as worthy of his love as the nuns? Or am I believing in a different God? She has been haunting me ever since and I wish I could do something to help her and others like her - but what? How?


Anonymous said...

Lovely, Floss. Thank you so much, and for hosting this Pause.

It gives me pleasure to see another who learns (or relearns) so much from children's books and plays. I always go away from the children's Christmas plays deep in thought! Thank you for opening up to share your inner ponderings.

God bless you and grant you a holy and peaceful Feast of the Nativity!

Anonymous said...

Floss, you gave me goosebumps talking about giving birth near Christmas, and how the words of the Magnificat are echoed in Jesus' words in the Garden! It seems I once knew that latter part, but I'd forgotten. I'm going to read them both this afternoon. Thank you, thank you! And thank you for visiting.

Beki said...

Lovely story Floss!
I've really enjoyed all the 'Pause in Advent posts'.
Just in case I don't get another chance, have a wonderful Christmas.
Love and ((hugs))
Beki xxx

Angela said...

Great post Floss. God bless you!
Thanks for setting up the Pause In Advent idea- it has been a real blessing x

Lorrie said...

Thank you, Floss for these Advent Pause posts - they've been delightful and help to focus on the real meaning of Christmas. I put my last one up this afternoon (probably late evening for you).

Joyeux Noel,

Unknown said...

Hi Floss, What a lovely story and play. Thank you for sharing it. And thank you, as well, for this truly enjoyable Pause In Advent. I've had such fun and learned so many interesting new things! :) Christmas blessings to you and to all of the bloggers I've enjoyed visiting. :)

JuanitaTortilla said...

That's a nice story Floss.

Have a wonderful Christmas season with your family! I know how much this season means to you :)

Sarah said...

Hi Floss
That's a lovely story, and truly makes us think about the real Christmas, something we forget about. As my 2 boys go to a C of E school, they certainly help me re-focus!
Have a wonderful Christmas.
x said...

Hi Floss

a lovely story and should be kept in focus by me

thanks for sharing

Jen Walshaw said...

What a lovely story. I bet everyone had a ball. I have really enjoyed advent and we should all do it again next year. I have found it has kept me focused, calm, in the now and I have loved it all

Carol said...

Thank you for a lovely story, Floss.
Although I don't have a blog I have greatly appreciated the Pause for Advent posts. Thank you for sharing.

Lululiz said...

Such a beautiful story, thank you for sharing it with us.

Carol said...

This is such a lovely story and it's great that you shared not only the story but the photos too!
I've enjoyed following Advent with you as it not only gave me a chance to really learn the meaning of Advent but to also stop and reflect. So, THANKS again!!
Bless you.

Lola Nova said...

Wonderful story and I deeply appreciate your thoughts. Thank you

Nina said...

Happy christmas time to you and your family.

VintageVicki said...

Thankyou for organising the Pauses in Advent - I've enjoyed reading all the posts and meeting some new people.

I hope you and your family have a lovely christmas :)

Vicki xxxxxx

magsmcc said...

I've had such a fabulous Advent this year that I'm finding it hard to get excited about just one Friday! Thanks for the discipline of marking the stages of the weeks! A recent convert to the Church of Ireland from Presbyterianism, we've newly come to the themes of Advent, but their progression has been deep and moving for me this year. Joyeux Noel a vous tous; que Dieu vous benisse enormement!

Michela said...

Hi Floss, hope all is well with you and your family and you've arrived safe and sound in Somerset!
Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas and a very happy New year!

Pomona said...

Have a very happy Christmas!

Pomona x

Tilly said...

Just popping by to say Merry Christmas.

That's a lovely story. I don't have a faith so Christmas for me is about spending quiet time with my family, something we don't get chance to do very often.

Joshy and belle said...

hope you have a very merry christmas!
fliss xx