Monday, December 4, 2017

December 4

Family worship found us reading part of the creation account in Genesis 1 this morning before we climbed the stairs laden with tea and Italian Panettone to begin our Christmas study of St. Francis of Assisi and his invention of live nativity scenes.

St. Francis has inspired me since I first saw a film about his life when I was a young child. His determination to serve God and his willingness to give up his family's wealth and live a life of devotion beckoned me to imitation. Today I attempted to help the kids grasp a picture of his life as we read various children's books based on the life of St. Francis and talked about his love and care for animals, seeing them as creatures created by God and worthy of our attention and care. I left the kids watching a movie about St. Francis and went off to meet a friend for lunch and antiquing.

It was fun to browse the stalls of the antique shops and admire all the Christmas decorations and dishes. I was on the hunt for a "mustache tea cup" for my upcoming class and do you know what? We found one within the first 15 minutes! Even better, it was only $4! But that was the last thing we found all afternoon so we mostly window shopped. :)

Afterward we stopped for tea and a chance to discuss 8 Women of Faith. I especially enjoyed exploring the faith of Jane Austen (another part of my upcoming class).

Pulling in the driveway just at dusk I noticed a small crowd a few houses down, mostly from my family. A child came running to tell me there was a hawk on the ground. As it turns out, a juvenile Cooper's Hawk had hit a neighbor's basketball hoop and been stunned. By the time I made it he had recovered enough to hop to the grass. What a special treat to get to view this bird up close!

Michael took the initiative to make a bunch of phonecalls until he found someone who would help. When I came down to make dinner the hawk was safely in the grasp of an older gentleman with a soft London accent. His voice emanated with care and deep delight in being able to be a part of helping another bird make a full recovery. He carefully tucked the young bird into a pet carrier in the back of his car and said he hoped maybe his dinner would be ready by the time he drove the 45 minutes back to his home where he and his wife take in birds like this every week. What could this be but a modern day St. Francis?! I hope the children will remember this day and the time their father took out of his day to care for a simple, fallen bird, and for the devoted care of this man who drove from far away to bring life-giving assistance to one of God's creatures.

We sang a beautiful 12th century carol today:

The Friendly Beasts

Jesus our brother, kind and good
Was humbly born in a stable rude
And the friendly beasts around Him stood,
Jesus our brother, kind and good.

"I," said the donkey, shaggy and brown,
"I carried His mother up hill and down;
I carried her safely to Bethlehem town.
I," said the donkey, shaggy and brown.

"I," said the cow all white and red
"I gave Him my manger for His bed;
I gave him my hay to pillow his head."
"I," said the cow all white and red.

"I," said the sheep with curly horn,
"I gave Him my wool for His blanket warm;
He wore my coat on Christmas morn."
"I," said the sheep with curly horn.

"I," said the dove from the rafters high,
"I cooed Him to sleep so He would not cry;
We cooed him to sleep, my mate and I."
"I," said the dove from the rafters high.

Thus every beast by some good spell,
In the stable dark was glad to tell
Of the gift he gave Immanuel,
The gift he gave Immanuel.

"I," was glad to tell
Of the gift he gave Immanuel,
The gift he gave Immanuel.
Jesus our brother, kind and good.

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1 comment:

elizabeth said...

awwwww! how special!!! St Francis is wonderful! I love how there are so many stories of Saints giving up everything for Christ! What a beautiful thing that you met that man who takes in birds! God sure gives us so many blessings!!!